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METHYL TERT-BUTYL ETHER
ICSC: 1164
Peer-Review Status: 04.11.2000 Validated
tert-Butyl methyl ether
MTBE
Methyl-1,1-dimethylethyl ether
2-Methoxy-2-methyl propane 
CAS #: 1634-04-4 RTECS #: KN5250000
UN #: 2398
EC #: 603-181-00-X
EINECS #: 216-653-1
    Formula: (CH3)3COCH3 / C5H12O
Molecular mass: 88.2

TYPES OF
HAZARD /
EXPOSURE
ACUTE HAZARDS / SYMPTOMS      PREVENTION      FIRST AID / FIRE FIGHTING
FIRE Highly flammable.  NO open flames, NO sparks and NO smoking. NO contact with oxidizing agents.  Use powder, AFFF, foam, carbon dioxide. 
EXPLOSION Vapour/air mixtures are explosive.  Closed system, ventilation, explosion-proof electrical equipment and lighting. Do NOT use compressed air for filling, discharging, or handling.  In case of fire: keep drums, etc., cool by spraying with water. 
 
EXPOSURE      
Inhalation Drowsiness. Dizziness. Headache. Weakness. Unconciousness.  Use ventilation, local exhaust or breathing protection.  Fresh air, rest. Artificial respiration may be needed. Refer for medical attention. 
Skin Dry skin. Redness.  Protective gloves.  Remove contaminated clothes. Rinse and then wash skin with water and soap. 
Eyes Redness.  Wear safety goggles or face shield.  First rinse with plenty of water for several minutes (remove contact lenses if easily possible), then refer for medical attention. 
Ingestion Abdominal pain. Nausea. Vomiting. Further see Inhalation.  Do not eat, drink, or smoke during work.  Rinse mouth. Give a slurry of activated charcoal in water to drink. Do NOT induce vomiting. Refer for medical attention . 

SPILLAGE DISPOSAL
PACKAGING & LABELLING
Personal protection: filter respirator for organic gases and vapours adapted to the airborne concentration of the substance. Remove all ignition sources. Collect leaking and spilled liquid in sealable containers as far as possible. Absorb remaining liquid in sand or inert absorbent. Then store and dispose of according to local regulations. Do NOT wash away into sewer.   
EC Classification
Symbol: F, Xi; R: 11-38; S: (2)-9-16-24 
UN Classification
UN Hazard Class: 3; UN Pack Group: II 
GHS Classification
 

EMERGENCY RESPONSE SAFE STORAGE
Transport Emergency Card: TEC (R)-30GF1-I+II.  Fireproof. Separated from strong oxidants and strong acids. 

IMPORTANT DATA
Physical State; Appearance
COLOURLESS LIQUID WITH CHARACTERISTIC ODOUR. 

Physical dangers
The vapour is heavier than air and may travel along the ground; distant ignition possible. 

Chemical dangers
Reacts violently with strong oxidants. This generates fire hazard. Decomposes on contact with acids. 

Occupational exposure limits
TLV: 50ppm as TWA; A3 (confirmed animal carcinogen with unknown relevance to humans); (ACGIH 2004).
MAK: 50 ppm, 180 mg/m³; Carcinogen category: 3B; Pregnancy risk group: C; (DFG 2004). 

Routes of exposure
The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation and by ingestion. 

Inhalation risk
A harmful contamination of the air can be reached rather quickly on evaporation of this substance at 20°C. 

Effects of short-term exposure
The substance is irritating to the skin. If this liquid is swallowed, aspiration into the lungs may result in chemical pneumonitis. Exposure far above the OEL could cause lowering of consciousness. 

Effects of long-term or repeated exposure
 


PHYSICAL PROPERTIES ENVIRONMENTAL DATA
Boiling point: 55°C
Melting point: -109°C
Relative density (water = 1): 0.7
Solubility in water, g/100ml at 20°C: 4.2
Vapour pressure, kPa at 20°C: 27
Relative vapour density (air = 1): 3.0
Relative density of the vapour/air-mixture at 20°C (air = 1): 1.5
Flash point: -28°C c.c.
Auto-ignition temperature: 375°C
Explosive limits, vol% in air: 1.6-15.1
Octanol/water partition coefficient as log Pow: 1.06  
It is strongly advised not to let the chemical enter into the environment because it is persistent. 

NOTES
Much less likely to form peroxides than other ethers.
Card has been partly updated in October 2004.
See sections Occupational Exposure Limits, EU classification, Emergency Response. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 

IPCS
International
Programme on
Chemical Safety
WHO ILO EC Prepared in the context of cooperation between the International Programme on Chemical Safety and the European Commission
© IPCS 2004-2012
LEGAL NOTICE Neither the EC nor the IPCS nor any person acting on behalf of the EC or the IPCS is responsible for the use which might be made of this information.


    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Methyl tert-Butyl Ether  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 73, 1999)