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CHEMINFO Record Number: 58
CCOHS Chemical Name: Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether

Diethylene glycol butyl ether
Diethylene glycol n-butyl ether
Diglycol monobutyl ether
Ether monobutylique du diéthylène glycol

Chemical Name French: Éther de diéthylèneglycol monobutylique
Chemical Name Spanish: Eter monobutílico del dietilen glicol

Trade Name(s):
Butyl Carbitol
Dowanol DB

CAS Registry Number: 112-34-5
RTECS Number(s): KJ9100000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 203-961-6
Chemical Family: Aliphatic ether alcohol / aliphatic glycol ether / aliphatic diglycol ether / diethylene glycol ether / diethylene glycol monoether
Molecular Formula: C8-H18-03
Structural Formula: CH3-(CH2)3-O-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-OH


Appearance and Odour:
Colourless liquid with a faint butyl odour.

Odour Threshold:
No information available

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

Uses and Occurrences:
Solvent for stamp pad inks, dyes, high-baked enamels, soaps, oils, household cleaners, nitrocellulose, gums, and polymers. Coalescing agent for latex paints; dispersant for vinyl chloride resins in organosols; diluent for hydraulic brake fluids; wetting-out solution in textile industry; and plasticizer intermediate.


Colourless liquid with a faint butyl odour. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. Mild central nervous system depressant. May cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and incoordination. Causes eye irritation.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

No adverse effects on humans have been reported. This material does not tend to form vapours at normal room temperatures and appears to have a low toxicity in animal tests. Therefore, no short-term health effects are expected unless the material is heated or mists are formed. In severe cases, effects might be like those described for ingestion, below.

Skin Contact:
Slightly irritating. Can be absorbed through the skin, but exposure must be severe before health effects are expected.
It was reported in one case study that DEGBE caused allergic dermatitis in a 60 year old man. An open test (0.1 mL undiluted DEGBE applied to the patient's forearm) gave positive results within 20 minutes. Patch testing gave negative results. Allergic reactions to glycols are rare and may be both delayed and immediate in type. DEGBE has not previously been reported to cause allergic dermatitis.(4)

Eye Contact:
Liquid is moderately to severely irritating. It caused severe eye irritation in rabbit eyes.

No cases have been reported, but early symptoms are expected to be similar to those of alcohol intoxication. Vomiting, bluish colouring of the skin (cyanosis), headache, rapid respiration and heart rate, low blood pressure, muscle tenderness, and unconsciousness may follow. Large or repeated amounts may affect kidney function.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

No adverse human experience has been reported.

SKIN: Can be absorbed through the skin in toxic amounts if contact is extensive and prolonged.


No human or animal information is available.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has no listing for this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human information is available. See animal toxicity data. The available evidence suggests that most diethylene glycol ethers do not cause reproductive effects. There is some evidence that the monomethyl ether causes reproductive effects in animals. See CHEMINFO no. 50E for details.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human information is available. There was no evidence of reduced fertility in a study with male rats.(2)

No human information is available. Does not appear to be mutagenic based on several tests in cultured mammalian and bacterial cells.

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information is available.

Potential for Accumulation:
None. Ethers of diethylene glycol do not appear to be metabolized to oxalic acid.


If symptoms occur, remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. Obtain medical advice immediately.

Skin Contact:
If a large area is contaminated, as quickly as possible, flush contaminated area with lukewarm, gently running water for at least 5 minutes, or until the chemical is removed. Obtain medical advice immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 20 minutes, or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye. Obtain medical attention immediately.

Never give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 ml (8 to 10 oz.) of water to dilute material in stomach. Obtain medical attention immediately.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest). Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact. All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its condition of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
78 deg C (172 deg F) (closed cup) (6); 93.3 deg C (200 deg F) (open cup) (1)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
0.85% (6)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
24.6% (6)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
204 deg C (400 deg F) (6); 228 deg C (442 deg F) (3)

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
No information on electrical conductivity is available. It is probably not sensitive, since it has a high flash point.

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air at, or above, 78 deg C.

Extinguishing Media:
Alcohol foam, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, water spray or fog. Water or foam may cause frothing. (6)

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Water spray or fog can be used to extinguish fires involving diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DEGBE), since it can be cooled below its flash point. Water spray can be used to absorb heat, keep containers cool and protect exposed material. If a leak or spill has not ignited, use water spray to disperse the vapours and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray may be used to flush spills away from ignition sources.
DEGBE is only slightly hazardous to health. Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (MSHA/NIOSH approved or equivalent) and full Bunker Gear is worn.


NFPA - Health: 1 - Exposure would cause significant irritation, but only minor residual injury.
NFPA - Flammability: 2 - Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.
NFPA - Instability: 0 - Normally stable, even under fire conditions, and not reactive with water.


Molecular Weight: 162.23

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 6.62 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.151 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -68 deg C (-90 deg F)
Boiling Point: 231 deg C (448 deg F)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.9536 at 20 deg C (water = 1)
Solubility in Water: Soluble in all proportions
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions with oils; very soluble in ether, alcohol and acetone.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 0.15; Log P(oct) = 0.040 (calculated) (5); Log P(oct) = 0.091 (estimated).(3)
pH Value: Information not available
Vapour Density: 5.56 (air = 1) (calculated)
Vapour Pressure: 0.003 kPa (0.02 mm Hg) at 20 deg C
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 26 ppm at 20 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: No specific data - expected to be low.
Critical Temperature: Information not available

Other Physical Properties:
VISCOSITY-DYNAMIC: 6.49 centipoises (6.49 mPa.s) (3)


Normally stable

Hazardous Polymerization:
Will not occur

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.

STRONG OXIDIZERS (e.g. hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate) - may react; may increase risk of fire and explosion.

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported.

Conditions to Avoid:
Temperatures above 78 deg C.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive


LD50 (oral, rat): 6,560 mg/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, rat): 5,660 mg/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, guinea pig): 2,000 mg/kg (1)
LD50 (oral, rabbit): 2,200 mg/kg (1)

EYE IRRITATION (rabbit): 5 mg -- severe eye irritant.

SHORT-TERM INHALATION: Three rats survived a single 7-hour exposure to an atmosphere saturated with diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (DEGBE) at 100 deg C and then cooled to room temperature. The animals appeared normal with only a transient weight loss.(1)

SKIN CONTACT: Only slightly irritating to the skin of rabbits, even on repeated or prolonged contact.
2 mL/kg of a 1.5% solution of DEGBE was applied to the broken (abraded) skin of 6 rabbits, 5 days/week for 4 weeks. Observed changes (in organ weights, blood parameters, etc.) were thought to be chance variations unrelated to treatment.(2)

LONG-TERM INGESTION: Doses of 51-1, 830 mg/kg/day of DEGBE were fed to rats for 30 day of DEGBEs. The maximum dose having no effect was 51 mg/kg; 94 mg/kg caused a reduction in growth rate. The lowest dose causing harmful cellular changes in the liver, kidney, spleen or testes was 650 mg/kg.(1,2)

REPRODUCTION: Groups of 25 male rats were given 0, 250, 500, or 1,000 mg/kg orally for 60 days before mating with untreated females. There was no evidence of reduced fertility at any dose.(2)
Groups of 20 rabbits had 0, 100, 300, and 1,000 mg/kg/day applied to their skin for 4 hours/day from day 7 to 18 of pregnancy. No embryotoxic or teratogenic effects were observed.(2,3)
Groups of 25 male and female rats were fed 0, 250, or 1,000 mg/kg/day for 60 days (males) or 14 days (females) before mating with untreated animals. No effects on male fertility were observed.
No treatment related to embryotoxic or fetotoxic effects were observed.(2)
Pregnant rats were fed 0, 125, 115 and 633 mg/kg from day 0 through day 20 of pregnancy. Maternal body weight gain was significantly reduced, but neither decrease in food consumption nor any clinical sign of toxicity was observed. No embryotoxic or teratogenic effects were observed. DEGBE had no adverse effects on the post-natal development of the offspring.(3)

MUTAGENICITY: The mutagenic effect of DEGBE was investigated in a battery of in vivo and in vitro tests. DEGBE was negative in bacterial tests using different Salmonella strains, the mouse lymphoma test and the cytogenic assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells, all with and without metabolic activation. At higher concentrations (10 ul/mL), all three tests showed positive effects. DEGBE did not induce unscheduled DNA synthesis in cultured rat cells and did not cause chromosome aberrations in cultured Chinese hamster cells with and without metabolic activation. It gave negative results in the in vivo sex-linked recessive lethal assay in Drosophila (fruit flies).(3)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Clayton, G.D.; Clayton, F.E., eds. Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd revised edition. Vol. 2C : toxicology. New York, NY; Toronto, Ontario : John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1982. p. 3963-3965
(2) ECETOC technical report no. 17. The toxicology of glycol ethers and its relevance to man : an up-dating of ECETOC technical report no. 4. Brussels, Belgium : European Chemical Industry Ecology and Toxicology Centre, April 1985
(3) HSDB record for diethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether. Last revision date: 91/11/06
(4) Dawson, T.A.J., et al. Delayed and immediate hypersensitivity to Carbitols. Contact Dermatitis. Vol. 21, no. 1 (1989). p. 52-53
(5) Verschueren, K. Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals. 2nd ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983. p. 524-525
(6) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(7) Langhorst. Glycol ethers - validation procedures for tube/pump and dosimeter monitoring methods. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Vol. 45, no. 6 (1984). p. 416-424
(8) (9) Forsberg, K., et al. Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 4th ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2002

Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.

Review/Preparation Date: 1993-03-12

Revision Indicators:
TDG 1994-02-01
Fire fighting instructions 1995-01-01
Respiratory guidelines 1995-08-01
Protective equipment 1995-08-01
EU number 1995-08-01
Sensitivity to static charge 1995-10-01
Handling 1995-10-01
Sampling 1996-01-01
Transport (US) 1998-02-01
Resistance of materials 1998-05-01
Bibliography 2000-04-01
EU Class 2000-04-01
EU Risk 2000-04-01
EU Safety 2000-04-01
EU Safety 2000-04-01
Flash point 2003-03-26
Extinguishing media 2003-03-26
Carcinogenicity 2003-05-30
PEL-TWA transitional 2003-10-21
Resistance of materials for PPE 2004-03-15

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