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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Butyl cellosolve; Ethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; EGBE; Dowanol EB; Butyl oxitol; Jeffersol EB; Ektasolve EB

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0435

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 111-76-2

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KJ8575000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - 2-Butoxyethanol: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Glycol Ethers (2-Butoxyethanol): Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1

50 ppm
(240 mg/m3)
TWA

Skin

HE16

Mild irritation

OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A

50 ppm
(240 mg/m3)
TWA

Skin

HE16

Mild irritation

OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards

50 ppm
(240 mg/m3)
TWA

Skin

HE16

Mild irritation

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)

5 ppm
(24 mg/m3)
TWA

Skin

HE7

Central nervous system effects - headache and nausea

HE12

Hematotoxicity (effects on the blood and hematopoietic system)

HE16

Eye and nose irritation

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2003)

20 ppm
(97 mg/m3)
TWA

A3; BEI

HE7

Central nervous system effects - nausea and headache

HE16

Eye and nose irritation

CAL/OSHA PEL

20 ppm
(97 mg/m3) TWA

Skin

HE16

Eye and nose irritation

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 3 [1 MB PDF, 88 pages] (not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans)

EPA carcinogenic classification: "Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans at environmental concentrations at or below the RfC"

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 1.6 mg/m3

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 6 ppm (acute); 3 ppm (intermediate); 0.2 ppm (chronic)

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 700 ppm

CAL/OSHA PEL: 20 ppm (97 mg/m3) TWA; Skin

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects

  1. 2-Butoxyethanol can form explosive peroxides when exposed to air (NIOSH/IPCS 2003).
  2. Absorption of liquid through skin is markedly enhanced by the addition of water to 2-butoxyethanol (Jakasa et al. 2004). Vapors also show significant dermal absorption (Jones et al. 2003).
  3. Measurements of 2-butoxyethanol in blood or butoxyacetic acid in urine after hydrolysis of conjugates are useful for monitoring exposure, although urinary monitoring is preferred. The average half-life for urinary excretion of total (free and conjugated) butoxyacetic acid metabolites is reportedly in the range of 3.3 to 6 hours (Jones and Cocker 2003).
  4. Exposures to EGBE in decal transfer workers in the bicycle manufacturing industry were found to accumulate with more days of exposure. Authors recommend that urine samples be collected at the end of the work week (Hung et al. 2011). Another study concluded that workers' low level exposures to EGBE in a beverage package production plant could be assessed with a single determination of butoxyacetic acid in post-shift urine samples (Haufroid et al. 1997).
  5. One study reported delayed effects in a small number of workers after acute exposure, including elevations in erythrocyte (red cell) sedimentation rate and blood pressure and the appearance of cherry angiomas on the skin (Raymond et al. 1998).
  6. NTP (2000) found some evidence of carcinogenicity in mice of both genders and equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity in female rats.
  7. The EPA RfC is based on deposition of iron storage materials in the livers of mice and rats exposed by inhalation for two years.
  8. The ATSDR MRL’s are based on changes in clinical measures of circulating blood in laboratory studies in animals.
  9. Adverse effects on development have been observed in laboratory studies.

Date Last Revised: 10/3/2012

Literature Basis:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) -2-Butoxyethanol. 2003.
  • ATSDR (1998) Toxicological Profile for 2-Butoxyethanol and 2-Butoxyethanol Acetate
  • California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board: Initial [70 KB PDF, 11 pages] and Final [124 KB PDF, 10 pages] Statement of Reasons. July 6, 2006.
  • EPA 2010 Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE)(2-Butoxyethanol) (CASRN 111-76-2)
  • Haufroid, V., Thirion, F., Mertens, P., Buchet, J.-P. and Lison, D.: Biological monitoring of workers exposed to low levels of 2-butoxyethanol. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 70(4): 232-236, 1997.
  • Hung PC, Cheng SF, Liou SH, Tsai SW: Biological monitoring of low-level 2-butoxyethanol exposure in decal transfer workers in bicycle manufacturing factories. Occup Environ Med. 68(10):777-82, October 2011.
  • Jakasa, I., Mohammadi, N., Kruse, J. and Kezic, S.: Percutaneous absorption of neat and aqueous solutions of 2-butoxyethanol in volunteers. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 77(2): 79-84, 2004.
  • Jones, K., Cocker, J., Dodd, L.J. and Fraser, I.: Factors affecting the extent of dermal absorption of solvent vapors - a human volunteer study to investigate biological monitoring methods for 2-butoxyethanol. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 47(2): 145-150, 2003.
  • Jones, K. and Cocker, J.: A human exposure study to investigate biological monitoring methods for 2-butoxyethanol. Biomarkers 8(5): 360-370, 2003.
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard - Occupational Exposure to Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether and Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether Acetate. September 1990.
  • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. August 5, 2003.
  • NTP: Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies 2-Butoxyethanol (CAS NO. 111-76-2) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies). TR 484, 2000.
  • Raymond, L.W., Williford, L.S. and Burke, W.A.: Eruptive cherry angiomas and irritant symptoms after one acute exposure to the glycol ether solvent 2-butoxyethanol. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 40(12): 1059-1064, 1998.
  • Tyl RW, Millicovsky G, Dodd DE, et al. 1984. Teratologic evaluation of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether in Fischer 344 rats and New Zealand white rabbits following inhalation exposure. Environ Health Perspect 57:47-68

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: (95:5) Methylene Chloride:Methanol
    maximum volume: 48 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 83)
    method classification: Fully Validated

Wipe Sampling Method: Wipe with charcoal pad, seal in glass vial for shipment.

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