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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- Nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and sedation were observed in humans during MTBE gallbladder installation for gallstone dissolution. Similar effects including vomiting, incoordination, and sedation were seen in animal oral exposure studies. General anesthesia (CNS and respiratory depression) may also occur. Liver function test abnormalities have been seen in experimental animals following intraductal administration, possibly due to mechanical effects. Mild, transient increases in liver transaminase enzymes have been reported in humans following transhepatic instillation of MTBE into the gallbladder to dissolve gallstones.
- Aspiration of gasoline-MTBE mixtures following ingestion may result in chemical pneumonitis.
- Workers exposed to MTBE in ambient air have complained of headache, nausea, nasal congestion, and eye irritation. Inhalation of MTBE produces anesthesia, eye irritation, irregular respirations, incoordination, and prostration in experimental animals. In acute gavage studies in experimental animals, death was preceded by marked CNS depression, ataxia, tremors, labored breathing, and loss of righting reflexes.
- Although MTBE has been shown to be metabolized to methanol and formic acid in experimental animal models, methanol or formic acid have only been detected in trace quantities in humans treated with MTBE for gallstone dissolution.
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