ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
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Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)

CAS ID #: 1634-04-4

Affected Organ Systems: Hepatic (Liver), Neurological (Nervous System), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)

Cancer Classification: None

Chemical Classification: Nitrosamines/ethers/alcohols

Summary:

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a flammable liquid with a distinctive, disagreeable odor. It is made from blending chemicals such as isobutylene and methanol, and has been used since the 1980s as an additive for unleaded gasolines to achieve more efficient burning.

MTBE is also used to dissolve gallstones. Patients treated in this way have MTBE delivered directly to their gall bladders through special tubes that are surgically inserted.

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