Butoxyethanol

SCA endorses products with the Toxic-Free Tick, that do not contain 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. Butoxyethanol is used as a solvent in hair spray, lacquers & enamels, varnishes & removers, latex paints & in paint thinners & strippers, it is also used in herbicides, cosmetics liquid soaps, commercial & household cleaners as well as dry-cleaning agents.

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

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

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Amina Kitching