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Industrial Hygiene Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/29/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying Occupational Exposure Risks to 2-Butoxyethanol and Other Industrial Chemicals
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene and environmental testing services and sampling supplies to identify and mitigate chemical exposure hazards in the workplace.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, November 29, 2022 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes the organic compound known as 2-butoxyethanol as a colorless liquid with a mild odor. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports it smells like ether and goes by many names.

2-Butoxyethanol is used in a number of industries as a solvent and is found in paint strippers, thinners and some household cleaners. Examples of some of the workers at potential risk of being exposed to 2-butoxyethanol include the following according to NIOSH:

  • Workers in silk-screening and printing occupations
  • Workers who make or refinish furniture
  • Workers who use spray paints
  • Employees exposed to certain household cleaners
  • Mechanics and others exposed to hydraulic fluids
  • Factory workers who manufacture certain cosmetics 


“Workers can be at risk from exposure to 2-butoxyethanol,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “NIOSH reports it can harm the eyes, skin, kidneys and blood. ATSDR warns that breathing in large amounts of 2-butoxyethanol may result in irritation of the nose and eyes, headache and vomiting. The main routes of occupational exposure include breathing contaminated air and skin contact.”

To protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for 2-butoxyethanol. Cal/OSHA also has its own PEL. 

To support health and safety programs in the workplace, EMSL Analytical offers industrial hygiene and environmental testing services to detect and monitor for 2-butoxyethanol and many other potential chemical hazards. They also provide sampling supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about 2-butoxyethanol and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/p3Y17wNRzQU 

To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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