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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. USES: Ethylene glycol ethyl ether ((EGEE) also known as 2-ethoxyethanol, oxitol, ethyl cellosolve, dowanol EE, polysolve EE, hydroxyether, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, cellosolve solvent, glycol ethyl ether) is a solvent with many commercial and industrial applications. It is a colorless liquid with a faint, sweet odor. EGEE is found in multi-purpose cleaners such as varnish removers and degreasing solutions due to its ability to dissolve oils, resins, grease, waxes, nitrocellulose, and lacquers. It is also used as an anti-icing additive in the manufacture of brake fluids, aviation fuels, and automotive anti-stall and detergent additives.
  1. TOXICOLOGY: Acidosis might occur secondary to metabolism via alcohol dehydrogenase to alkoxyacids. Clinical information is very limited; however, EGEE exposure would be expected to cause CNS depression and pose a risk of aspiration pneumonitis similar to other solvents.
  1. EPIDEMIOLOGY: Acute poisoning is relatively rare but this chemical is used widely in industrial settings and chronic exposure may occur in many workers among certain industries.
  1. WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
    1. MILD TO MODERATE EXPOSURE: With acute inhalational exposure, eye and upper respiratory tract irritation may occur. Other symptoms that may occur include CNS symptoms such as headache, drowsiness, weakness, staggered gait, and tremor. In chronic inhalation exposures, there have been reports of dizziness, leg swelling, gynecologic disorders (benign neoplasms, cervical erosions, menstrual disorders), leukopenia, decreased sperm counts, teratogenic effects in fetuses of pregnant women, and kidney injury (hematuria, albuminuria). Direct eye contact exposure may cause immediate pain, corneal and conjunctival irritation, and tearing that usually clears after one day.
    1. SEVERE EXPOSURE: Vertigo, coma, cyanosis, pulmonary edema, and repeated tonic clonic spasms have been reported after ingestion of EGEE.
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