Trade name of the product: methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), 2-butanon
Chemical name of the compound: butan-2-on
Synonyms: keton etylowo-metylowy; metyloetyloketon; metyloaceton; metylopropanon; ethyl methyl ketone; MEK; methyl ethyl ketone; butanone; butanon; butanone, 2-; 2-butanal; 2-[2-[2-(2-dodecoxyethoxy)ethoxy]ethoxy]ethanol; n-dodecyl tetraethylene glycol ether; polyoxyethylene(4) lauryl ether; tetraethylene glycol lauryl ether; tetraoxyethylene glycol dodecyl ether;
Chemical and physical properties: a colorless inflammable and volatile liquid with a strong unpleasant acetone-like odor. It dissolves very well in water in normal conditions.
Application of the substance: Methyl ethyl ketone is used as a low boiling point solvent to produce nitrocellulose, acryl and vinyl surface coatings, and also varnishes used in the automotive, electrical appliance and furniture industry. It can also be used to produe industrial rubber-based cements and printing inks as an azeotropic separation solvent. It is also a component of the solvent system used to produce the magnetic tape. MEK is also a solvent necessary for the polymerization process of polysterenes, acrylonitril-butadien-styrene (ABS) and butadien-styrene rubber (SBR). The substance is also used to produce lubricants, varnishes, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, detergents and paint and varnish removers, and also – in small quantities – as one of the components in certain beauty products and foodstuffs as a fragrance and flavor.
Health safety: Methyl ethyl ketone can have toxic effects if inhaled or swallowed. If inhaled for a short time, it can lead to the irritation of the upper respiratory passages, throat and conjunctive. The contact with the substance can cause serious and irreversible burns of the skin and eyes. If ignited, it releases irritating, causting and/or toxic gases. Its vapors can cause dizziness or difficult breathing (dispnea). The poisoning with the substance can result in the headache and dizziness, sleepiness, concentration problems and blackout. In extreme cases, it can come to bradycardia, numbness of the limbs, pupillary dilation, salivation and toxic neuropathies.