What Are the Uses of Acetone?

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Acetone is primarily used in the production of other chemicals and is also used as a solvent in products such as nail polish removers, cement, lacquers and finishes, cleaners, paint, coatings, films, and adhesives. Some foods contain low concentrations of acetone.

Acetone is one of the most commonly used industrial solvents. It is also widely used in nail salons. Acetone is naturally produced by the human body as a by-product of metabolic processes. The American Chemistry Council reports that approximately 75 percent of all acetone is used in the formulation of other chemicals, 12 percent is used as a solvent, and 13 percent is used for other purposes.

Acetone is a transparent liquid that is highly flammable. It is considered a hazardous-waste material and should be stored, used, and disposed of safely. Studies have shown that acetone is not a carcinogen and is not harmful to humans at levels found in foods and household products. Although it is considered low in toxicity, extended acetone use may pose negative health risks such as nerve damage and cracked skin. Acetone should be used in a well-ventilated area in order to avoid excessive vapor inhalation, and should not be used around any ignition sources.