Isopropanol [(CH3)2CHOH], CAS 67-63-0, also known as isopropyl alcohol, 2-propanol, rubbing alcohol, or simply IPA, is the simplest secondary alcohol. A colorless, flammable liquid with a strong, somewhat pleasant odor, it is miscible in water, ethanol, ether, and chloroform.
Available in a variety of grades, IPA is used:
In the laboratory as a solvent for chemical reactions as well as a solvent for oils, gums, alkaloids, and other organic compounds
As a common cleaning and sterilizing agent, present in household items such as cleaning liquids, detergents, antiseptics, disinfectants, and body sprays, because of its bactericidal and germicidal properties
As an effective disinfectant in hospitals and other medical settings to rid the skin of pathogens prior to an injection
Isopropanol should be handled cautiously because it is highly flammable and can easily ignite. It should be stored away from oxidizers, including acids and chlorine, to prevent explosion. Ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption should be avoided as poisoning can occur.