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Toxicity review of ethylene glycol monomethyl ether and its acetate ester.

Critical reviews in toxicology (2000-06-14)
G Johanson
ABSTRACT

Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME) and its acetate ester (EGMEA) are highly flammable, colorless, moderately volatile liquids with very good solubility properties. They are used in paints, lacquers, stains, inks and surface coatings, silk-screen printing, photographic and photo lithographic processes, for example, in the semiconductor industry, textile and leather finishing, production of food-contact plastics, and as an antiicing additive in hydraulic fluids and jet fuel. EGME and EGMEA are efficiently absorbed by inhalation as well as via dermal penetration. Dermal absorption may contribute substantially to the total uptake following skin contact with liquids or vapours containing EGME or EGMEA. EGMEA is rapidly converted to EGME in the body and the two substances are equally toxic in animals. Therefore, the two substances should be considered as equally hazardous to man. Effects on peripheral blood, testes, and sperm have been reported at occupational exposure levels ranging between 0.4 and 10 ppm EGME in air, and with additional, possibly substantial, dermal exposure. Severe malformations and disturbed hematopoiesis have been linked with exposure to EGME and EGMEA at unknown, probably high, levels. Embryonic deaths in monkeys and impaired spermatogenesis in rabbits have been reported after daily oral doses of 12 and 25 mg per kg body weight, respectively. In several studies, increased frequency of spontaneous abortions, disturbed menstrual cycle, and subfertility have been demonstrated in women working in the semiconductor industry. The contribution of EGME in relation to other exposure factors in the semiconductor industry is unclear.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
2-Methoxyethyl acetate, reagent grade, 98%
Supelco
2-Methoxyethyl acetate, suitable for HPLC, ≥99%