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About acetone

Acetone is a colourless, volatile liquid with a pungent sweetish odour. It is a solvent used in cleaning up liquid polyester and vinyl ester resins. It dissolves liquid resin, allowing clean up of spills, rollers, brushes and other equipment. When polyester resins are completely cured, acetone cannot dissolve them. Acetone is not an effective solvent for epoxy resins.

Acetone is good at dissolving substances, including the fat in human tissue. This means that prolonged or repeated exposure of the skin to acetone removes natural oils, resulting in dryness or cracking. Therefore acetone must not be used to clean hands.

Acetone is completely soluble in water and can be easily washed off the skin. Acetone readily forms a vapour at low temperatures. In small or poorly ventilated rooms this vapour can build up and, in high concentrations, can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. Acetone is also highly flammable.

Special Protection Information

Respiratory Protection: Adequate ventilation should be provided. If above NOHSC exposure standard level, use SA approved respiratory protective equipment.
Eye Protection: Use SA approved chemical splash goggles.
Protective Clothing: Wear chemical resistant gloves such as butyl rubber or neoprene rubber gloves. Apply barrier creams to uncovered skin. Wear full length trousers, long sleeved shirts and safety boots.

Effects of Exposure

Eyes: Can cause moderate to severe irritation.
Inhalation: Can cause eye and upper respiratory tract irritation and CNS depression.
Skin: Can cause moderate irritation – defatting and dermatitis.
Swallowing: Can cause stomach and bowel irritation, CNS depression, drowsiness and damage to the kidneys and liver.

First Aid Procedures

Eyes: Flush with water for at least 15 minutes.
Inhalation: Remove to fresh air. If breathing is difficult, seek immediate medical assistance.
Skin: Flush with water.
Swallowing: Do NOT induce vomiting. If person is conscious, they should drink large quantities of water. Seek medical advice immediately.

Spill or Leak Procedures

Eliminate all sources of ignition and ventilate area. Wearing protective equipment, stop spill at source, dam area and, if possible, pump liquid into salvage tank. Alternatively, absorb spill with vermiculate or sand. Scoop up using non-sparking tools into labelled waste container. Flush area with water, but prevent it from entering waterways. Dispose of waste in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. Seek advice from supplier. Reporting of spills/leaks may be required under EPA and Dangerous Goods regulations.

Fire Extinguishing Procedures

Wear protective equipment including self contained breathing apparatus. On small fires use dry chemical or carbon dioxide. On larger fires, use alcohol type foam. Cool fire exposed containers with water spray.

Storage and Handling Procedures

DG Class 3. Highly flammable. Keep away from sources of ignition in tightly closed, labelled containers. Keep in cool, well ventilated location equipped with automatic sprinklers or fire extinguishing system. Earth containers when pouring to prevent discharge of static electricity. Do not transfer to unmarked containers. Provide both floor level and breathing zone ventilation. Open containers outside to allow venting of any vapours, especially if warmed. Store away from oxidising agents.

KEY to abbreviations – CNS: Central Nervous System EPA: Environmental Protection Authority NOHSC: National Occupational Health & Safety Commission (Worksafe Australia) PVC: Polyvinyl chloride SA: Standards Australia

Disclaimer: Facts and information reported on this page are believed by Composites Australia to be accurate at the date of printing. No responsibility is accepted by Composites Australia for the use or misuse of information on this page. Composites Australia accepts no responsibility for damage or injury caused by information or omissions contained on this page.