2-Butoxy Ethanol
Risk Evaluation

Glycol alkyl ethers are commonly used as solvents. 2-Butoxy Ethanol is one of the most toxic of the glycol ethers.

You should use products containing butoxyethanol with extreme care. It is a poison that can easily absorb through your skin to harm you. When working with it, always wear gloves and goggles and be sure the you have enough ventilation.

HAZARD SUMMARY [1]
  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin.
  • Exposure can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Higher exposures may cause you to become dizzy, lightheaded, and to pass out.
  • Contact can burn the eyes.
  • High or repeated exposure can break down red blood cells, and cause anemia. It can also damage the liver and kidneys.
  • Breathing the vapor can irritate the lungs and cause a build-up of fluid (pulmonary edema). This can cause death.
  • Acute Health Effects
    The following acute (short-term) health effects may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to 2-Butoxy Ethanol:
  • High exposures may cause you to become dizzy, lightheaded, and to pass out.
  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol can break down red blood cells. This can cause a low blood count (anemia). It may also damage the liver and kidneys.
  • Breathing Ethanol can break down red blood cells. This can cause a low blood count (anemia). It may also damage the liver and kidneys.
  • The liquid can cause eye burns and may cause temporary blurred vision. It may also irritate the skin, causing a rash or burning feeling on contact.
  • Exposure to the vapor can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat.
  • Chronic Health Effects
    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 presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health, 2-Butoxy Ethanol has not been tested for its ability to cause cancer in animals.

    Reproductive Hazard - According to the information presently available to the New Jersey Department of Health, 2-Butoxy Ethanol has not been tested for its ability to adversely affect reproduction.

    Other Long-Term Effects - Long-term exposure can cause the breakdown of red blood cells, resulting in anemia. 2-Butoxy Ethanol may damage the liver and kidneys. Very irritating substances may affect the lungs. It is not known whether 2-Butoxy Ethanol causes lung damage.

    [1] New Jersey Workers' Right-to-Know Fact Sheet