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May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 111–76–2

NIOSH REL: 5 ppm (24 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 50 ppm (240 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: 25 ppm (120 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 25 ppm (121 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless liquid with a mild, ether-like odor.

LEL(@200 F): 1.1% (10% LEL(@200 F), 1,100 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 700 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the mouse 7-hour LC50 of 700 ppm [Werner et al. 1943 cited by Patty 1963, Browning 1965, and ACGIH 1971]. No other useful data are available on which to base the IDLH. The chosen IDLH is probably conservative, because Patty [1963] reported that exposure of workers for several hours to 300 to 600 ppm would probably cause respiratory and eye irritation, narcosis, and damage to the kidney and liver. Both Patty [1963] and ACGIH [1971] noted that humans appear to be more resistant to the toxic effects of 2-butoxyethanol [Carpenter et al. 1956], which further indicates that the chosen IDLH might be conservative.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) DerivedValue
RatMouse Dodd et al. 1983Werner et al. 1943 450700 ———- 4 hr7 hr 900 ppm (2.0)1,680 ppm (2.4) 90 ppm168 ppm


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value


G. pig


Carpenter et al. 1956Dow 1986

Dow 1986

Smyth et al. 1941

Smyth et al. 1941













1,754 ppm670 ppm

428 ppm

1,711 ppm

2,110 ppm

175 ppm67 ppm

43 ppm

171 ppm

211 ppm

Other animal data: RD50 (mouse), 2,824 ppm [Alarie 1981].

Human data: It has been stated that humans would be able to tolerate saturated concentrations (i.e., about 1,000 ppm) for 1 hour without experiencing any significant nonreversible effects [Carpenter et al. 1956].

Revised IDLH: 700 ppm [Unchanged]Basis for revised IDLH: Based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Carpenter et al. 1956], a value of about 1,000 ppm would have been appropriate for 2-butoxyethanol. However, the original IDLH for 2-butoxyethanol (700 ppm) is not being revised at this time.



1. ACGIH [1971]. 2-Butoxy ethanol (butyl cellosolve). In: Documentation of the threshold limit values for substances in workroom air. 3rd ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, pp. 29-30.

2. Alarie Y [1981]. Dose-response analysis in animal studies: prediction of human responses. Environ Health Perspect 42:9-13.

3. Browning E [1965]. Toxicity and metabolism of industrial solvents. New York, NY: Elsevier Publishing Company, p. 611.

4. Carpenter CP, Pozzani UC, Weil CS, Nair JH III, Keck GA, Smyth HF Jr [1956]. The toxicity of butyl cellosolve solvent. AMA Arch Ind Health 14:129-131.

5. Dodd DE, Snellings WM, Maronpot RR, Ballantyne B [1983]. Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether: acute, 9-day, and 90-day vapor inhalation studies in Fischer 344 rats. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 68:405-414.

6. Dow [1986]. Material safety data sheet: Dowanol® EB (ethylene glycol butyl ether). Midland, MI: Dow Chemical USA, pp. 1-4.

7. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 1555.

8. Smyth HF Jr, Seaton J, Fischer L [1941]. The single dose toxicity of some glycols and derivatives. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 23:259-268.

9. Werner HW, Mitchel JL, Miller JW, von Oettingen WF [1943]. The acute toxicity of vapors of several monoalkyl ethers of ethylene glycol. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 25(19):157-163.