Methyl Ethyl Ketone Health Effects and Claiming Compensation

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Methyl ethyl ketone health effects
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott In: Industrial Disease

Can I Claim Compensation for Methyl Ethyl Ketone Health Effects?

Understanding what the methyl ethyl ketone health effects are can be vital when you have suffered in your workplace because you were not provided with the correct protective equipment.

Here at AWH Solicitors, we have a great deal of experience in dealing with very specific workplace compensation claims. We can help you to get the financial support that you need for medical treatment. 

Get in touch today to start discussions surrounding your compensation claim.

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Methyl ethyl ketone health effects

What is Methyl Ethyl Ketone?

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is also known as 2-butanone and it is a clear liquid that has the smell of mint. Although most of the MEK that exists in the environment is synthetically produced, some natural sources do exist.

Raw chicken, milk, some cheeses, certain plants and trees, and tobacco smoke are all examples of these natural sources. However, MEK is also used as a solvent in vinyl films, paint removers, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and cleaning fluids. It is also used in the synthetic rubber industry and in the production of paraffin wax, magnetic tapes and lubricating oil. It is also a component of adhesives that are commonly used to join polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe.

In extreme cases, this can mean that it has been found in drinking water if the pipe has recently been repaired or constructed. Because of its high volatility, the most important source of environmental MEK exposure will be from the air. MEK does not absorb strongly into soil and is also very water soluble. Therefore, MEK that has been released into soil is expected to leak to groundwater. Once in the groundwater, it takes about two weeks for MEK to degrade. 

Because the odour thresholds reported for MEK in water and air are greater than expected environmental contamination levels, odour is not likely to provide any warning that MEK is present. 

What are the Health Effects of Methyl Ethyl Ketone?

The short-term and acute effects of inhaling MEK is central nervous system depression. This causes: 

  • Irritation of the nose 
  • Irritation of the eyes 
  • Respiratory problems 
  • Lack of coordination 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Liver, lung, kidney and brain abnormalities 

Can I Claim Compensation?

If, for any reason, you have been dangerously exposed to MEK because of your employer’s failure to implement the correct safety procedures, then you can most likely make a compensation claim. 

All employers are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees and must always put the correct health and safety measures in place where necessary. The duty-of-care requirements that your employer must follow include: 

  • Ensuring a safe working environment free of avoidable hazards
  • Clearly defining how a job should be correctly carried out and undertaking risk assessments
  • Providing communication channels for employees to raise any safety concerns they may have 
  • Providing areas in which workers can rest
  •  Ensuring that workers do not work excessive hours that ultimately may lead to accidents

You may be able to claim compensation if you got injured as a result of a workplace accident.

Read more about industrial disease claims

How will my Methyl Ethyl Ketone Health Effects Claim be Calculated?

To determine the amount of compensation that you will receive, there are a number of different factors that will be involved in the calculation process. These are: 

  • Considering any cost of care that you may have already had to pay
  • Any medical bills that you have already paid, in addition to any future treatment
  • Whether your symptoms will prevent or may have already prevented you from working, and will therefore result in a loss of earnings

Every case is unique, and there could potentially be other factors that have an impact on how much compensation you could receive. The support of an expert solicitor is always valuable when you are seeking compensation. 

Get In Touch to Get Started with your Compensation Claim

Here at AWH Solicitors, our experience puts us in the best position to help you throughout the compensation process and offer great advice when you need it most.

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