|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||118.17 g mol−1|
|Appearance||Clear, colourless liquid|
|Density||0.90 g/cm³, liquid|
-77 °C, 196 K, -107 °F
171 °C, 444 K, 340 °F
|Solubility in water||Miscible|
|Acidity (pKa)||high pKa for -OH group|
|Viscosity||2.9 cP at 25 °C (77 °F)|
|MSDS||MSDS by Mallinckrodt Baker|
|EU classification||Harmful (Xn)|
|S-phrases||(S2), S36/37, S46|
|Flash point||67 °C (153 °F)|
|Related compounds||Ethylene glycol|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
2-Butoxyethanol is an organic solvent with the formula BuOC2H4OH (Bu = CH3CH2CH2CH2). It is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odour. It is a butyl ether of ethylene glycol. It is a relatively nonvolatile, inexpensive solvent with modest surfactant properties.
- C2H4O + BuOH → BuOC2H4OH
In 2006, the total European production of all butyl glycol ethers amounted to 181 kilotons per annum (kt/a), approximately 50% (90 kt/a) of which was 2-butoxyethanol. World production is estimated to be 200 to 500 kt/a, of which 75% is for paints and coatings.
2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent in paints and surface coatings, as well as cleaning products and inks. Other products that contain 2-butoxyethanol include acrylic resin formulations, asphalt release agents, firefighting foam, leather protectors, oil spill dispersants, degreaser applications, and photographic strip solutions. Other products containing 2-butoxyethanol as a primary ingredient include some whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps, cosmetics, dry cleaning solutions, lacquers, varnishes, herbicides, and latex paints.
Butoxyethanol has an LD50 of 2.5g/kg in rats. Laboratory tests by the United States National Toxicology Program have shown that sustained inhalation of high concentrations (100 - 500 ppm) of 2-butoxyethanol can cause adrenal tumors in animals. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) reports that 2-butoxyethanol is carcinogenic in animals. OSHA does not regulate 2-butoxyethanol as a carcinogen; however, it should be handled as a carcinogen with extreme caution.
Moderate respiratory exposure to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, dermal or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema and coma. The current ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV) for worker exposure is 20 ppm in the industrial atmosphere, which is well above the odor threshold of 0.4 ppm. Blood or urine concentrations of 2-butoxyethanol or its major toxic metabolite, 2-butoxyacetic acid, may be measured using chromatographic techniques to monitor worker exposure or to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients. A biological exposure index of 200 mg 2-butoxyacetic acid per g creatinine has been established in an end-of-shift urine specimen for exposed U.S. employees.
U.S. Employers are required to inform employees when they are working with this substance.
Butoxyethanol is listed in the U.S. state of California as a hazardous substance, though it was removed from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of hazardous air pollutants in 1994.
2-Butoxyethanol has come under scrutiny in Canada, and Environment and Health Canada recommended that it be added to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The use of some common household cleaning products containing 2-butoxyethanol could expose people to levels 12 times greater than California's one-hour guideline, especially when indoor use is considered. These products are not required to list it on the label when diluted to a certain point. The safety of the products as normally used is defended by the American Chemistry Council and the Soap and Detergent Association, industry trade groups.
2-Butoxyethanol usually decomposes in the presence of air within a few days and has not been identified as a major environmental contaminant. It is not known to bioaccumulate.
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- 2009 TLVs and BEIs, American Conference of Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2009, p.101.
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- "Glycol Ethers Fact Sheet". California Hazard Evaluation and Information Service. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 339. The Hazardous Substances List". State of California Department of Labor Relations. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
- "List of Hazardous Air Pollutants, Petition Process, Lesser Quantity Designations, Source Category List; Petition To Delist of Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2004-11-29. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Current Use Patterns in Canada, Toxicology Profiles of Alternatives, and the Feasibility of Performing an Exposure Assessment Survey". Environment Canada. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ToxFAQs