MTBE Health And Safety
These resources provide information on the health and safety of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). For more MTBE topics, return to the MTBE main page.
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- Chemical Profile for Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (CAS Number: 1634-04-4) 2005.
Provided by Scorecard, an online resource for information about pollution problems and toxic chemicals, this Web page provides basic MTBE-related information and links to other resources.
- Drinking Water Advisory: Consumer Acceptability Advice and Health Effects Analysis on Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MtBE) 1997.
Prepared by EPA's Office of Water, this advisory provides guidance to communities exposed to drinking water contaminated with MTBE.
- International Chemical Safety Card: Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether 2000.
This fact sheet, prepared by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with other agencies, provides basic safety and handling information related to MTBE.
- Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether 1634-04-4 2000.
Presented on EPA's Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web site, this Web page provides background information on MTBE including its uses, human health impacts, and physical properties.
- Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) in Drinking-Water (PDF) (26 pp, 192K, About PDF) 2005.
This document, prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide background for the development of WHO Guidelines for drinking water quality, provides detailed information on MTBE.
- MTBE in California Drinking Water 2008.
Prepared by California's Department of Public Health, this Web page includes drinking water standards, maximum contaminant levels, and comprehensive evaluation of health and environmental effects of MTBE and other oxygenates.
- MTBE in Gasoline: Clean Air and Drinking Water Issues (PDF) (29 pp, 402K, About PDF) 2006.
In this report prepared by the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service, a variety of MTBE-related issues are discussed, including health effects, legislation, and alternatives.
- MTBE Taste and Odor Thresholds: The Myth of Protectiveness (PDF) (2 pp, 243K, About PDF) Undated.
Published in L.U.S.T. Line, a technical newsletter for underground storage tank stakeholders, this article explores the complications of dispersion and desensitization on MTBE taste and odor thresholds.
- Revised and Updated Drinking Water Quantification of Toxicological Effects for Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) (PDF) (51 pp, 2.0MB, About PDF) 1993. ECAO-CIN-D023.
Prepared for EPA's Office of Water, this report modified Agency guidance related to MTBE.
- The Task Force on the Environmental Effects of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), Final Report, December 2001 (PDF) (33 pp, 347K , About PDF) 2001.
Prepared by a task force consisting of 16 members from various government agencies, the petroleum and ethanol industries, and health related professionals, this report presents information on MTBE-related issues, including alternatives and recommendations to minimize and counteract its environmental and health risks.
- ToxFAQs: Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) 1997.
Prepared by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, this fact sheet provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the health effects of MTBE.
- Achieving Clean Air and Clean Water: The Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates in Gasoline (PDF) (119 pp, 481K, About PDF) 1999.
Prepared by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates in Gasoline, this report studies the impacts of fuel oxygenates on human health and the environment. Remediation, water contamination, air quality, and release prevention are discussed. Impacts of ethanol and MTBE are compared.
- Alternative Fuels Research Strategy. Review Draft (PDF) (520 pp, 2.44MB, About PDF) 1992. EPA 600/AP-92/002.
Prepared by EPA's Office of Research and Development, this report lays a foundation for developing the scientific information needed to compare the benefits and risks of various motor vehicle fuels, especially alternative and reformulated fuels, in relation to conventional gasoline and diesel fuels. MTBE, ETBE, and ethanol are discussed.
- Assessment of Potential Health Risks of Gasoline Oxygenated With Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) (PDF) (60 pp, 3.0MB, About PDF) 1993. EPA/600/R-93/206.
Published by EPA's Office of Research and Development, this report was developed to assist in the evaluation of health symptom complaints of Alaska and Montana residents. Odor thresholds, dermal effects, short- and long-term effects and health risk estimates are discussed.
- Customer Exposure to MTBE, TAME, C6 Alkyl Methyl Ethers, and Benzene During Gasoline Refueling 1999.
Published in Environmental Health Perspectives, this paper presents the results of a study on the exposure to customers during refueling.
- Human Exposure to Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) While Bathing with Contaminated Water (PDF) (59 pp, 928K, About PDF) 2003. EPA/600/R-05/094.
This EPA paper presents the results of a study that measured the absorption of MTBE through the skin and calculated the fraction of MTBE exhaled following inhalation exposure only.
- Inhalation Exposure to Methyl tert-Butyl
Ether (MTBE) Using Continuous
Breath Analysis (PDF) (90 pp, 1.8MB, About PDF) 2003. EPA/600/R-05/095.
This report presents the results of an EPA-funded study examining the use of a continuous breath analyzer to measure MTBE and TBA in the breath of volunteers exposed to MTBE in baths and showers.
- Odor Threshold Studies Performed with Gasoline and Gasoline Combined with MTBE, ETBE and TAME 1994.
This report was prepared by the American Petroleum Institute.
- Prediction of the Metabolism and Toxicological Profiles of Gasoline Oxygenates 1997.
Published in Inhalation Toxicology, this paper presents an evaluation of MTBE, ETBE, TAME, and DIPE human health risks.
- Proceedings of the Conference on MTBE and Other Oxygenates: A Research Update (PDF) (274 pp, 19.2MB, About PDF) 1993.
The results of MTBE health effects studies are included in these proceedings from an EPA-sponsored conference.
- Public Health Goal for
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) in Drinking Water (PDF) (136 pp, 469K, About PDF) 1999.
Prepared by the California Environmental Protection Agency, this report provides the background for the established public health goal (PHG) for MTBE in California.
- Rat Olfactory Mucosa Displays a High Activity in Metabolizing Methyl tert-butyl Ether and Other Gasoline Ethers (PDF) (6 pp, 457K, About PDF) 1997.
Published in Applied Toxicology, this paper presents the results of research on the ability of the olfactory mucosa of rats to metabolize MTBE, ETBE, and TAME.
- Sensory, Symptomatic, Inflammatory, and Ocular Responses to and the Metabolism of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether in a Controlled Human Exposure Experiment (Abstract) (PDF) (1 pg, 4K, About PDF) 1998.
Published in Inhalation Toxicology, this paper presents the results of research on the human health effects of MTBE exposure.
- Toxicokinetics and Acute Effects of MTBE and ETBE in Male Volunteers 1995.
Published in Toxicology Letters, this paper presents research results on the health effects of MTBE and ETBE, including inhalation exposures and metabolism.
- Toxicokinetics of Ethers Used as Fuel Oxygenates 2001.
Published in Toxicology Letters, this paper summarizes the toxicokinetics and biotransformation of MTBE, ETBE, and TAME in rats and humans.
- Toxicology and Human Health Effects Following Exposure to Oxygenated or Reformulated Gasoline 2001.
Published in Toxicology Letters, this paper reviews the current understanding of the toxicology and health impacts of MTBE, ETBE, TAME, and ethanol. Environmental exposure, compound fate and health risks, epidemiological and clinical studies, animal studies, metabolic and kinetic studies, and regulatory classification/response are discussed.
- Belpoggi, F.; Soffritti, M.; Maltoni, C. (1995). Methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) -- A Gasoline Additive -- Causes Testicular and Lymphohaematopoeitic Cancers in Rats. Toxicol. Ind. Health 11: 119-149.