Toxicology letters

Biomonitoring of 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)ethanols by analysing urinary 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)acetic acids.

PMID 15705492


2-Methoxyacetic and 2-ethoxyacetic acids are well known toxic metabolites of 2-alkoxyethanols. The use of 2-alkoxyethanols is now restricted, and the regulations have forced manufacturers to find substitutive solvents, 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)ethanols. 2-(2-Alkoxyethoxy)ethanols resemble 2-alkoxyethanols, and their most hazardous similarity is their ability to metabolize to the 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)acetic acids. In the present study, floor lacquerers' (n = 22) inhalation and total exposure to 2-(2-alkoxy)ethoxyethanols was measured. The measurements of inhalation exposure were done with charcoal tubes, and total exposure was biomonitored by urinalysis of 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)acetic acids. The 8h inhalation exposures of floor lacquerers to 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethanol (DEGME), 2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)ethanol (DEGEE) and 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)ethanol (DEGBE) were in average 0.23 +/- 0.07 ppm (average+/-S.D., n = 3), 0.08 +/- 0.07 ppm (n = 16), and 0.05 +/- 0.03 ppm (n = 16), respectively. The excretions of 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)acetic acid (MEAA), 2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)acetic acid (EEAA) and 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)acetic acid (BEAA) were in average 4.9 +/- 4.3 mmol/mol creatinine, 9.3 +/- 8.0 mmol/mol creatinine and 9.2 +/- 7.4 mmol/mol creatinine, respectively. A linear relationship was found between the urinary 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)acetic acid concentrations and the preceding 8-h occupational exposure to 2-(2-alkoxyethoxy)ethanol.