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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: EGME; Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether; Glycol monomethyl ether; Jeffersol EM; Methyl Cellosolve®; Methyl oxitol

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0590

IMIS Name History: Methyl Cellosolve® prior to 7/26/2005

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 109-86-4

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: KL5775000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1188 127

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Methyl Cellosolve®: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 -- 25 ppm, 80 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 25 ppm, 80 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 25 ppm, 80 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.1 ppm, 0.3 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.1 ppm, 0.3 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 200 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headache, drowsiness; lassitude; coughing, sore throat; ataxia, tremor; anemic pallor; confusion; unconsciousness; stinging, redness of skin; clouded vision; in animals: reproductive, teratogenic effects; SKIN ABS; INGES ACUTE: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16); Blood disorders (HE12); CNS effects (HE7); Suspect reproductive hazards---Teratogenesis and other reproductive impairment (HE5)

Affected Organs: Eyes, respiratory system, CNS, blood, kidneys, reproductive system, hematopoietic system

Notes:

  1. Exposure to workers in a circuit board manufacturing plant was shown to occur mainly via absorption of vapor or liquid through skin, confirming an earlier study with volunteers, which concluded that biological monitoring is preferred over environmental monitoring for assessment of exposure.
  2. It is metabolized mainly by alcohol dehydrogenase to methoxyacetaldehyde and further by aldehyde dehydrogenase to 2-methoxyacetic acid, metabolites which are thought to be involved in some of the toxic effects.
  3. Measurement of the major metabolite, 2-methoxyacetic acid, in plasma or urine is a suitable marker of exposure. Excretion in urine occurred with an average half-life of 77 hours in a 4-hour inhalational exposure study with human volunteers.
  4. The metabolite, 2-methoxyacetaldehyde, tested positive in the Syrian hamster embryo cell transformation assay for carcinogenic potential.
  5. Adduct formation with proteins, possibly by the aldehyde metabolite, has been observed in embryos and plasma from pregnant rats administered 14C-labeled 2-Methoxyethanol.
  6. Studies in animals have demonstrated dose-related teratogenicity and other toxicities in the offspring of pregnant animals exposed to airborne concentrations of methyl cellosolve at or below the PEL.
  7. Teratogenic effects, including mental retardation and dysmorphic features of the head and neck, as well as a significantly higher level of chromosomal aberrations (breaks, polyploidy and endoreduplication), were reported in children exposed in utero while their mothers worked for a company in Mexico that manufactured radio and television capacitors.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Methyl Cellosolve®.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether.
  • MMWR: Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to ethylene glycol monomethyl ether, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, and their acetates. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 41(21): 386, 1992.
  • Chang, H.-Y., Lin, C.-C., Shih, T.-S., Chan, H., Chou, J.-S. and Huang, Y.-S.: Evaluation of the protective effectiveness of gloves from occupational exposure to 2-Methoxyethanol using the biomarkers of 2-methoxyacetic acid levels in the urine and plasma. Occup. Environ. Med. 61(8): 697-702, 2004.
  • Cheever, K.L., et al.: 2-Methoxyethanol metabolism, embryonic distribution, and macromolecular adduct formation in the rat: the effect of radiofrequency radiation-induced hyperthermia. Toxicol. Lett. 122(1): 53-67, 2001.
  • Dhalluin, S., et al.: Apoptosis inhibition and ornithine decarboxylase superinduction as early epigenetic events in morphological transformation of Syrian hamster embryo cells exposure to 2-methoxyacetaldehyde, a metabolite of 2-Methoxyethanol. Toxicol. Lett. 105(2): 163-175, 1999.
  • El-Zein, R.A., Abdel-Rahman, S.Z., Morris, D.L. and Legator, M.S.: Exposure to ethylene glycol monomethyl ether: clinical and cytogenetic findings. Arch. Environ. Health 57(4): 371-376, 2002.
  • Groeseneken, D., Veulemans, H., Masschelein, R. and Van Vlem, E.: Experimental human exposure to ethylene glycol monomethyl ether. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 61(4): 243-247, 1989.
  • Kežić, S., Mahieu, K., Monster, A.C. and de Wolff, F.A.: Dermal absorption of vaporous and liquid 2-Methoxyethanol and 2-ethoxyethanol in volunteers. Occup. Environ. Med. 54(1): 38-43, 1997.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1094-1096.
  • Saavedra, D., Arteaga, M. and Tena, M.: Industrial contamination with glycol ethers resulting in teratogenic damage. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 837: 126-137, 1997.

Date Last Revised: 12/14/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: (95:5) Methylene Chloride: Methanol
    maximum volume: 10 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 53)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Samples for 2-methoxyethyl acetate and/or for 2-ethoxyethyl acetate should be refrigerated upon receipt at the analytical laboratory.

  • 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 (long term)
    maximum volume: 15 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.1 L/min (short term)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 79)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Use these larger maximum volumes to monitor sub-ppm levels. Samples for 2-methoxyethyl acetate and/or for 2-ethoxyethyl acetate should be refrigerated upon receipt at the analytical laboratory.

Wipe Sampling Method:

  • sampling media: charcoal pad
    note: Seal in glass vial for shipment.

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