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Description of key information

Generally, linear and branched-chain alkyl esters are hydrolysed to their component alcohols and carboxylic acids in the intestinal tract, blood and most tissues throughout the body (WHO, 1998).

Dahl et al. (1987):

The results indicated that esters, including potentially carcinogenic beta-lactones, are readily hydrolysed by respiratory tract enzymes; species and tissue differences were apparent (from the abstract of the publication). Furthermore, Dahl et al. (1987) stated: since rat maxilloturbinates typically contain 10 mg of S-9 [5], it is apparent that the rat maxilloturbinates alone have 10 times the necessary enzymatic capacity to completely hydrolyze phenyl acetate inhaled at 25 ppm.

In Dahl et al. (1987) was examined: Tissues from rats, rabbits and Syrian hamsters were investigated for carboxyl esterase activity. Tissues were: maxilloturbinates, ethmoturbinates, trachea, lung, liver. Substrates included esters of acetic acid with alcohols up to 8 carbon atoms and others: pentyl (amyl) acetate, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, propyl acetate, butyl acetate, hexyl acetate, octyl acetate, iso-butyl acetate, sec-butyl acetate, tert-butyl acetate, phenyl acetate, beta-butyrolactone. The hydrolysis rate of structural isomers depended also on the branching of the alcohol: n-butyl acetate (77 nmol/mg S-9 protein/min) > iso-butyl acetate (67 nmol/mg S-9 protein/min) > sec-butyl acetate (62 nmol/mg S-9 protein/min) > tert-butyl acetate (42 nmol/mg S-9 protein/min).

Calculations carried out by Fiserova-Bergerova et al. (1990) indicate that exposure of 2% of the surface area of the body (360 cm2) to a saturated aqueous solution of 1-pentyl acetate increases the body burden by more than 30% but much less than 200% of the body burden resulting entirely from inhalation of a concentration of 100 ml/m3. It was thus predicted that the substance can be absorbed through the skin.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Bioaccumulation potential:
low bioaccumulation potential

Additional information

The data from WHO (1998) and Dahl et al. (1987) suggest that isopentyl acetate (1 Mol) will be hydrolysed in the body to result in acetic acid (1 Mol) and 3-methyl-1-butanol (1 Mol).

The publication of Fiserova-Bergerova et al. (1990) suggest that pentyl acetates can be absorbed through the skin.