The Dangers of Butyl Cellosolve

butyl cellosolve


Don’t use Butyl Cellosolve

Butyl Cellosolve (CAS #111-76-2 also known as Butyl Cellusolve, Butoxyethanol, Butyl Glycol and Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether) is a toxic agent used in many industrial and domestic cleaners – many of which claim to be non-hazardous. It is absorbed through the skin and lungs causing a variety of health issues depending on the level of exposure.
Health Effects: Eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; cough; Blood disorders, central nervous system depression, dizziness, drowsiness, light-headedness, unconsciousness; headache, vomiting; pulmonary edema; eye redness, pain, blurred vision; liver and kidney damage; Abdominal pain, diarrhoea; nausea. It may also damage a developing foetus.
Affected organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS, hematopoietic system, blood, kidneys, liver, lymphoid system, reproductive system.


Download 2-Butoxyethanol MSDS

Do you have Butyl Cellosolve in your workplace?

Butyl Cellosolve is common in many cleaning products and your workers may be exposed. Emerging national WHS policy requires all employers to seek alternatives to hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
Call us on 1800 777 580 to discuss your current chemical regime and how Envirofluid can help protect your workers and your business.

For a better world … Envirofluid seeks to promote an industry culture where preventing risks and improving worker health by hazardous substance elimination & substitution are always a key consideration. A culture that is more aligned with both Safe Work objectives and the Hierarchy Of Risk Control.


Case study

FMG overcomes serious WHS chemical issue with common sense approach
Fortescue Metals Group’s cleaning regime employed a common chemical agent, which due to the atomising effect of the high-pressure cleaner on hot train surfaces, was being inhaled and ingested by workers. It was determined that, aside from the immediate symptoms, exposure to Butyl Cellosolve can have serious long-term health effects. While the health effects were serious the solution was common sense – get rid of the toxic chemicals and replace them with something safer.

The Culprit: Butyl Cellosolve

The Alternative: Triple7 Heavy Duty is a powerful bio-based cleaner and degreaser that is free of any hazardous and toxic ingredients. This product was simply applied via a pressure washer to clean dust and oil from the trains. The workers found that by using Triple7 Heavy Duty it improved their health while increasing performance and safety. No special PPE equipment was required; they used less product and were not affected by toxic fumes. Their oil water separator performance also improved.
Read more about how Envirofluid helped Fortesque Metal Group

Have Any Question? Contact Us.

    4 responses to “The Dangers of Butyl Cellosolve”

    1. R.C. says:

      From 1977 thru 1998 I worked daily with “BC” using it to reduce the viscosity of industrial paints we were applying to massive coils of steel used for building & roofing panels. We also used MEK for this same process. We also used it to remove dried and spilled paint. Gloves were provided but were NOT mandatory. I was forced to retire on disability at 52 due to kidney cancer. Since 1994 I have had renal cell cancer in BOTH kidneys, Adrenals, left lung and pancreas. Right now I only have a small portion of my right kidney left but it still functions well enough so I don’t require dialysis. I do believe that daily exposure to both these chemicals (BC & MEK) in massive quantities led to these problems.

    2. Mike Lyle says:

      Working in 22-butoxyethanol for 20 months, using a detergent with 30% 2-butoxyethanol caused me to go into cardiac arrest, then heart surgery 7 days later. My employer never said anything that its employees were handling a product like this. My ALT/AST was over 500 when my normal ALT/AST was 7. It literally attacked my liver and kidneys. You are so correct that it is extremely dangerous!

    3. John says:

      Hi Mike, that is terrible , how long were you exposed to this until it did damage ? A single event of over a long time? Please let me know as I may be going through something like this myself

    4. John says:

      That is terrible RC, what percentage was the 2butoxyethonal?

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