Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Notices to Readers Availability of NIOSH Criteria Document on Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether and Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether Acetate

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether and Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether Acetate (1).* In this document, NIOSH recommends occupational exposure limits for ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) and its acetate, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate (EGBEA). The publication also examines the occupational health risks of exposure to these chemicals and presents criteria for eliminating or minimizing these risks during the manufacture and use of EGBE and EGBEA. These criteria include recommendations for preventing dermal contact, sampling and analytical methods, medical monitoring, biological monitoring, engineering controls and work practices, and protective clothing and equipment. Because limited data are available from studies in humans, NIOSH based its recommended exposure limit for EGBE and EGBEA on data from studies in animals. The data were adjusted to allow for uncertainties in the extrapolation from animals to humans.

In humans and animals, the principal health effects of exposure to EGBE and EGBEA involve the blood and hematopoietic system, the central nervous system (CNS), the kidneys, and the liver. In animals, effects on the CNS, liver, and kidneys occur at higher EGBE exposures than do hematotoxic effects. Thus, limiting exposures to prevent hematotoxic effects will prevent CNS, kidney, and liver effects.

NIOSH therefore recommends that exposure to EGBE and EGBEA in the workplace be limited to 5 parts per million parts of air. Dermal contact should be prohibited since both compounds are readily absorbed through the skin. The same exposure limit is recommended for EGBE and EGBEA because any effects of EGBEA are likely to occur after it is metabolized to EGBE. Reported by: Div of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.


  1. NIOSH. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate. Cincinnati, Ohio: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, 1990; DHHS publication no. (NIOSH)90-118. foots

    • Single copies are available without charge from Publications Dissemination, DSDTT, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226; telephone (513) 533-8287.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #