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Analyses of ethylene glycol monoalkyl ethers and their proposed metabolites in blood and urine.

Smallwood AW; DeBord KE; Lowry LK
Environ Health Perspect 1984 Aug; 57:249-253
Techniques were developed for the analysis of ethylene glycol monoalkyl ethers and their metabolites in human blood and urine. Procedures for measuring 2-methoxyethanol (109864), 2-ethoxyethanol (110805) and 2-butoxyethanol (111762) in blood or their oxidized acidic metabolites methoxyacetic-acid (625456) and ethoxyacetic-acid (627032) in urine were designed to permit evaluation of worker uptake of these solvents. A stock solution of the glycol ethers was mixed with pooled human blood to obtain concentrations from 8 to 1000 micrograms per gram (microg/g). The blood was mixed with methylene-chloride for 2.5 hours, filtered and the methylene- chloride extract reduced in volume for injection into a gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector using a stainless steel column packed with Carbowax on mesh. A stock solution of pooled urine containing the metabolites at concentrations from 10 to 1000microg/milliliter (ml) was acidified with hydrochloric-acid and extracted with methylene-chloride three times. The extracts were evaporated to 1ml and derivatized with a pentafluorobenzylation procedure before injection into the gas chromatograph. Approximate retention times for 2-methoxyethanol, 2-ethoxyethanol and 2- butoxyethanol were 5.0, 5.4, and 8.0 minutes respectively. Detection limits for 2-ethoxyethanol and 2-butoxyethanol were 5.0 and 4.0microg/g blood, while 2-methoxyethanol had a detection limit of 8.8microg/g. Average recovery data ranged from 78 to 84 percent over a large concentration range. Approximate retention times for methoxyacetic-acid and ethoxyacetic-acid in urine were 4.9 and 5.4 minutes each. Detection limits were 11.4 and 5.0microg/ml. Recoveries over the concentration range studied were 78 percent for methoxyacetic-acid and 91 percent for ethoxyacetic-acid. The authors conclude that these techniques are ready for application in biological monitoring of workers exposed to these solvents.
NIOSH-Author; Blood-analysis; Urinalysis; Biological-monitoring; Analytical-processes; Analytical-methods; Biochemical-tests; Biology; Biological-effects; Biochemical-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Blood-cells
109-86-4; 110-80-5; 111-76-2; 625-45-6; 627-03-2
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division