Butyl Cellosolve
(2-Butoxy Ethanol)
(Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether)
in carpet cleaning compounds and detergents

from Bane-Clene®

Butyl Cellosolve (Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether or 2-Butoxy Ethanol) is commonly used in many carpet presprays because it is a unique solvent that is soluble in water yet is so strong that it is commonly used in wax strippers and heavy-duty ready-to-use cleaners. However, Butyl Cellosolve is absorbed through the skin and lungs and may be harmful to the kidneys and liver.

Synonyms: Butyl cellosolve; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; Dowanol EB; Butyl oxitol; Ethylene glycol mono butyl ether; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; EGBE.

Hazard Summary:

  • Butyl Cellosolvel can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin.
  • Exposure to Butyl Cellosolve may cause reproductive damage. handle with extreme caution.
  • Exposure to Butyl Cellosolvel can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth and throat.
  • Butyl Cellosolve can cause headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, and passing out.
  • Butyl Cellosolve may damage the liver and kidneys.
  • Butyl Cellosolve is regulated by OSHA cited by ACGIH, DOT and NISOH.

Workplace Exposure Limits:

  • OSHA: The legal airborned permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 50 ppm (240 mg/m3) [skin] averaged over an 8-hour workshift.
  • NIOSH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 5 ppm (24 mg/m3) [skin] averaged over a 10-hour workshift.
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 700 ppm
  • ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 20 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift.
  • NOTE: The above limits are for air levels only. When skin contact also occurs, you may be overexposed, even though air levels are less than the limits listed above.
  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 50 ppm, 240 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

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

DOT Number: UN2369

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 2369 152

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0435

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

Potential symptoms: Eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; cough; hemolysis, hematuria, anemia; central nervous system depression, dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, unconsciousness; headache, vomiting; pulmonary edema; eye redness, pain, blurred vision; liver and kidney damage; INGES ACUTE: Abdominal pain, diarrhea; nausea; metabolic acidosis; SKIN ABS.

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Mild (HE16); Blood disorders, anemia (HE12); CNS effects---Narcosis (HE8)

Affected organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS, hematopoietic system, blood, kidneys, liver, lymphoid system.

Notes: 1) Approved by the FDA for use in flume water for washing sugar beets prior to slicing operation - not to exceed 1 ppm [21 CFR 173.315(a)(4)] 2) 2-Butoxyethanol can form explosive peroxides. 3) Absorption of liquid through skin is markedly enhanced by the addition of water to 2-butoxyethanol. Vapors also show significant dermal absorption. 4) Measurement 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. 5) A minor pathway of metabolism in most people involves O-dealkylation to ethylene glycol by cytochrome P450-2E1. 6) The EPA has calculated a provisional RfC (lifetime exposure without appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects) of 0.02 mg/m3 (4 ppb) on the basis of hematological effects in rats. A slight, but significant decrease in hematocrit was reported in workers exposed to an average of 2.91 mg/m3 (0.59 ppm). 7) Another study reported delayed effects in a small number of workers after acute exposure, including elevations in erythrocyte sedimentation rate, blood pressure and appearance of cherry angiomas on the skin. 8) Tumor production (stomach or liver) in mice may be species-specific effects.

Acute Health Effects:

  • The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to 2-Butoxy Ethanol:
    • Exposure to 2-Butoxy Ethanol can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth and throat.
    • 2-Butoxy Ethanol can cause headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, and passing out.

NOTE: The following chronic (long-term) health effects can occur at some time after exposure to 2-Butoxy Ethanol and can last for months or years:

  • Cancer Hazard
    • According to the information available to Bane-Clene® as of 7/2/2007, 2- Butoxy Ethanol has not been tested for its ability to cause cancer in animals.
  • Reproductive Hazard
    • 2-Butoxy Ethanol may damage the developing fetus.
    • 2-Butoxy Ethanol may damage the testes (male reproductive glands).
  • Other Long-Term Effects
    • 2-Butoxy Ethanol may damage the liver and kidneys.
    • Very irritating substances may affect the lungs.

Additional Butyl Cellosolve Information: