Ethyl acrylate is a monomer used to produce polymers and copolymers for use in latex paints, textiles, paper coatings, fabric finishes, dirt release agents, and specialty plastics. In 1980, 268 million pounds of ethyl acrylate were produced in the United States of which 209 million pounds were used by the producers and 59 million pounds sold.
Carcinogenesis studies of ethyl acrylate were conducted by administering this test chemical in corn oil by gavage to groups of 50 male and 50 female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice at doses of 100 or 200 mg/kg. Ethyl acrylate was administered five times per week for 103 weeks. Groups of 50 rats and 50 mice of each sex received corn oil by gavage on the same schedule and served as vehicle controls.
Survival of dosed male and female rats and mice was comparable with that of the corresponding vehicle controls. There was no evidence of systemic toxicity in the prechronic or in the 2-year studies.
Compound-related increased incidences of hyperkeratosis, inflammation, and hyperplasia of the forestomach were observed in rats and mice in the prechronic as well as 2-year studies. In the 2-year studies, squamous cell papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas of the forestomach occurred at the site of chemical deposition with significant positive trends and increased incidences in dosed groups versus vehicle controls for both sexes of rats and mice. Nonneoplastic and neoplastic forestomach lesion frequencies were related to the concentration of ethyl acrylate in dosing solutions used. Significant negative trends for several common rodent tumors were found in treated animals in the 2-year studies.
Under the conditions of these studies, ethyl acrylate was carcinogenic for the forestomach of F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice, causing squamous cell carcinomas in male rats and male mice, squamous cell papillomas in male and female rats and male mice, and squamous cell papillomas or carcinomas (combined) in male and female rats and mice. Evidence for carcinogenicity was greater in males than in females. Ethyl acrylate also caused irritation of the forestomach mucosa in male and female rats and mice.