Butylethanol

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain butylethanol. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies the most serious hazardous waste sites in the nation. These sites make up the National Priorities List (NPL) and are the sites targeted for long-term federal clean-up activities. 2- Butoxyethanol has been found in at least 20 of the 1,430 current or former NPL sites. 2- Butoxyethanol acetate has not been found at any of the 1,430 current or former NPL sites. However, the total number of NPL sites evaluated is not known. As more sites are evaluated, the sites at which 2-butoxyethanol or 2-butoxyethanol acetate are found may increase. This is important because exposure to these substances may harm you and because these sites may be sources of exposure.” - www.atsdr.cdc.gov

CLASSIFICATION

Domestic/Cleaning; CAS No: 111-76-2. 2-Butoxyethanol; and "Synonym(s): 2-BUTOXY- ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXYETHANOL; BUTYL GLYCOL; ETHANOL, 2-BUTOXY-; ETHANOL, 2BUTOXY; ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; MONOBUTYL ETHYLENE GLYCOL ETHER; 2-BUTOSSI-ETANOLO (ITALIAN) ; 2-BUTOXY-1-ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXY-AETHANOL (GERMAN)." - EWG. Domestic/Cleaning; CAS No: 111-76-2. 2-Butoxyethanol; and "Synonym(s): 2-BUTOXY- ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXYETHANOL; BUTYL GLYCOL; ETHANOL, 2-BUTOXY-; ETHANOL, 2BUTOXY; ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; MONOBUTYL ETHYLENE GLYCOL ETHER; 2-BUTOSSI-ETANOLO (ITALIAN) ; 2-BUTOXY-1-ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXY-AETHANOL (GERMAN)." - EWG

HOW IS THIS USED?

Domestic/Cleaning Products (not cosmetics); Found in window and glass cleaners, multi-purpose sprays; butoxyethanol is a common solvent used to remove dirt with less effort.

RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY

  • Use: Domestic/Cleaning

  • PEC - Priority Existing Chemical

  • "A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review finds inhalation of 2-butoxyethanol causes liver damage in lab animals. And,

  • Harmful in contact with skin; GHS Hazard Codes - EU GHS Hazard Labeling Codes; Harmful if inhaled." - EWG

WHAT IS BUTOXYETHANOL?

  • "2-Butoxyethanol is readily absorbed following inhalation, oral, and dermal exposure. ... 2-Butoxyethanol has moderate acute toxicity and is irritating to the eyes and skin; it is not a skin sensitizer." - World Health Organisation

  • "Harmful effects on the liver and kidney were seen in some animals and may be related to hemolysis. 2-Butoxyethanol is also irritating to the skin and eyes of animals, as it is in people. ... Other reproductive effects and birth defects in animals have only been observed at doses that were toxic to the adult animals." - Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry

  • "2-Butoxyethanol is readily absorbed via all routes of exposure (inhalation, dermal, ingestion) with low to moderate acute toxicity via oral, dermal and inhalation routes." And, 2-Butoxyethanol at 20% is too high for general consumer use in domestic products given its potential for skin and eye irritation and inhalation toxicity ." And, "Risks; The most sensitive toxicological end point is the destruction of red blood cells (haemolysis). Additional toxicities include neurotoxicity (loss of coordination, sluggishness and narcosis) and nephrotoxicity. And, 2-butoxyethanol has low to moderate acute toxicity via oral, dermal and inhalation routes, and severe skin and eye irritancy." - TGA Therapeutic Goods Administration Australia

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Cleaning Products

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?

Cleveland Clinic says that "Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers. It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products." - Contact Dermititis

Health Line says, "Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. Toxic substances that can cause irritant contact dermatitis include: battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners, kerosene, detergents and pepperspray. Irritant contact dermatitis can also occur when the skin comes in contact with less irritating materials — like soap or even water — too often." - Contact Dermititis Casues

SCA endorses products that are made from Biodegradable Surfactants are used accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4351

Ideally cleaning products should: Not contain hazardous chemicals; Use only biodegradable surfactants; Contain No or low levels of phosphates; Low Sodium = Septic Safe; Contain no or low level use of fillers; Be 100% Soluble in water; Have low environmental impact packaging. Domestic home cleaning agents should exclude and/or restrict all chemicals that form the Allergy Certified Campaign (as detailed above and below).

Amina Kitching