Methyl acetate

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About methyl acetate

Methyl acetate can occur naturally in food (for example, fruits) and may be used as a flavouring agent in food.

However, methyl acetate is used mainly as a solvent in a variety of products available to Canadians. For example, it's used in:

Methyl acetate is also known as acetic acid methyl ester.

Safety of methyl acetate

Under Canada's Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), we review and manage the potential risks that chemical substances can pose to individuals and the environment. The first stage of the review process is a draft chemical risk assessment.

We've completed the draft chemical risk assessment of methyl acetate. We're proposing that inhaling certain aerosol adhesives and paint strippers or removers may pose a risk to human health. It may result in developmental effects.

The potential health effects of methyl acetate are linked to its breakdown to form methanol. Methanol was also assessed under the CMP and was proposed to be associated with developmental effects.

The draft assessment found that methyl acetate:

What we're doing

Our assessment is not yet final. We're continuing to evaluate the potential risk posed by methyl acetate before we publish our final conclusion. This includes:

Currently, there are no restrictions on the use of methyl acetate in Canada.

If the proposed findings for methyl acetate are confirmed in the final assessment, we will consider:

What you can do

Consumers are reminded to:

If you're unsure if your product contains methyl acetate, contact the manufacturer.

If you're exposed to methyl acetate at work, talk to your employer and occupational health and safety (OHS) official about:

For more information

For industry and professionals

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