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CHEMINFO Record Number: 163
CCOHS Chemical Name: Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether

Dipropylene glycol methyl ether
Ether monomethylique du dipropylèneglycol

Chemical Name French: Ether de dipropylène glycol monométhylique
Chemical Name Spanish: Éter metílico de dipropilenglicol

Trade Name(s):
Arcosolv DPM
Dowanol DPM Glycol Ether
Glycol Ether DPM
PropaSol Solvent DM
Ucar Solvent 2LM

CAS Registry Number: 34590-94-8
RTECS Number(s): JM1575000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 252-104-2
Chemical Family: Aliphatic ether alcohol / aliphatic glycol ether / aliphatic diglycol ether / aliphatic diglycol monoether / propylene glycol ether / dipropylene glycol monoether
Molecular Formula: C7-H16-O3
Structural Formula: CH3O-CH2-CH(CH3)-O-CH2-CH(CH3)-OH


Appearance and Odour:
Clear colourless liquid with a mild ethereal (sweet) odour in moderate concentrations.

Odour Threshold:
35 ppm (210 mg/m3) (10)

Warning Properties:
NOT RELIABLE - Odour threshold about 1/3 of the TLV; minimum concentration causing eye, throat and respiratory irritation is about 75 ppm (about same magnitude as the TLV).

Commercially available as "pure" dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME) or as mixtures with propylene glycol methyl ether and/or tripropylene glycol methyl ether. Commercial DPGME contains 4 structural isomers (related chemical forms), the main isomer being 1-(2-methoxy-1-methylethoxy)-2-propanol, with a smaller amount of 1-(2-methoxy-2-methylethoxy)-2-propanol and very small amounts of 2 other isomers.(9,10)

Uses and Occurrences:
Solvent for paints, lacquers, resins, dyes, oils/greases, cleaners and cellulose; heat transfer fluid; DPGME is frequently chosen as a substitute for the more toxic diethylene glycol methyl ether.


Clear, colourless liquid with a mild ethereal (sweet) odour in moderate concentrations. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOUR. High vapour or mist concentrations may be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.


Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

While no injuries from industrial use of dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME) have been reported, high concentrations of vapour and mist can cause marked irritation of the nose and throat. Concentrations above 100 ppm are disagreeable and irritating and would not be tolerated willingly. The irritating concentration in man was reported to be 74 ppm (450 mg/m3).(10)
Since vapour concentrations cannot exceed about 500 ppm, effects on the central nervous system are unlikely unless mists are formed.
With the related chemical propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME), effects on the central nervous system (CNS) occurred when vapour concentrations exceeded 1000 ppm. Typical effects of this solvent on the CNS would probably include headache, nausea, light-headedness, drowsiness, incoordination and possibly unconsciousness.

Skin Contact:
Undiluted DPGME showed no evidence of irritation even with prolonged, repeated contacts with skin of human subjects. When retested 3 weeks later there was no evidence of sensitization (9).
Although DPGME is absorbed through skin, toxic amounts could only be absorbed with extensive, prolonged contact.
Effects might be like those for inhalation.

Eye Contact:
High concentrations of vapour and mist cause mild temporary irritation. Application of 0.04 mL of a 20% aqueous solution of DPGME to one eye of each of 10 male volunteers, caused a minor stinging sensation for 30-45 seconds and was accompanied by a slight watering and twitching of the eye for about 1 minute.(10)
There are no reported cases of eye injury from contact with liquid DPGME.

No cases of ingestion have been reported. DPGME has a low oral toxicity in animal studies and it is unlikely that toxic amounts would be swallowed in ordinary handling and use.
Large doses could affect the central nervous system causing symptoms similar to those described for inhalation.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

There are no reported cases of chronic effects in humans. Based on animal data, no chronic effects are expected.


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 not assigned a carcinogenicity designation to this chemical.

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

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
No human or animal information is available. Animal tests on the chemically related PGME showed no significant effects on reproduction.

Reproductive Toxicity:
No human information is available. There were no effects on the testes in rats or rabbits exposed to concentrations of DPGME up to 200 ppm for 13 weeks.(10)

No reports of in vivo tests using DPGME are available. DPGME gave negative results in short-term tests on bacteria and in cultured mammalian cells.(5)

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
No information is available.

Potential for Accumulation:
Due to the solubility of DPGME, a high uptake might be expected by all routes of exposure. However, it is unlikely to accumulate in the body. In an oral study on rats, about 90% of the DPGME and metabolites were recovered within 48 hours (60% in the urine, 27% in expired air and 3% in the feces). Most of the material remaining in the body were recovered in the skin and liver. There was no indication of accumulation in fat tissue, testes or main body tissues.(8)


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

Skin Contact:
As quickly as possible, flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 5 minutes, or until the chemical is removed. If irritation persists, repeat flushing. Obtain medical advice immediately. Completely decontaminate clothing, shoes and leather goods before re-use or discard.

Eye Contact:
If irritation occurs, immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 5 minutes, or until the chemical is removed, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If irritation persists, obtain medical advice immediately.

Never give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, is unconscious or convulsing. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 240 to 300 mL (8 to 10 oz.) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, rinse mouth and repeat administration of water. Obtain medical advice immediately.

First Aid Comments:
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 conditions of use in the workplace.


Flash Point:
86 deg C (186 deg F) (closed cup) (11)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
1.1% at 200 deg C (11)

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
3.0% (11)

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not available

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

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

Fire Hazard Summary:
Combustible liquid. Can form explosive mixtures with air at, or above, 86 deg C.

Extinguishing Media:
Carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, alcohol foam, polymer foam, water spray or fog.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Water spray or fog can be used to extinguish fires involving dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME), 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, dilute the spill to a nonflammable mixture and to protect personnel attempting to stop a leak. Water spray may be used to flush spills away from ignition sources.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
DPGME is only slightly hazardous to health. Firefighters may enter the area if positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) and full Bunker Gear is worn.


NFPA - Health: 2 - Intense or continued (but not chronic) exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible 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: 148.2

Conversion Factor:
1 ppm = 6.05 mg/m3; 1 mg/m3 = 0.165 ppm at 25 deg C (calculated)

Physical State: Liquid
Melting Point: -83 deg C (-117.4 deg F) (freezing point) (1)
Boiling Point: 190 deg C (374 deg F) (10)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 0.948 at 25 deg C (water = 1) (10)
Solubility in Water: Soluble in all proportions.
Solubility in Other Liquids: Soluble in all proportions with acetone, ethanol, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, ether, methanol, monochlorobenzene, petroleum ether, and VM and P naphtha.
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Not available
pH Value: Not available
Vapour Density: 5.11 (air = 1)
Vapour Pressure: 0.05 kPa (0.38 mm Hg) at 25 deg C (10)
Saturation Vapour Concentration: 0.05% (500 ppm) at 25 deg C (calculated)
Evaporation Rate: 0.02 (butyl acetate = 1)
Critical Temperature: Not available

Other Physical Properties:
VISCOSITY-DYNAMIC: 3.5 centipoises (3.5 mPa.s) at 25 deg C


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.

OXIDIZING AGENTS - increased risk of fire and explosion

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported

Conditions to Avoid:
Air, sunlight, temperatures above 86 deg C.

Corrosivity to Metals:
Not corrosive

Stability and Reactivity Comments:
Some glycol ethers can form peroxides during prolonged storage in contact with air. Formation of peroxides occur more readily in sunlight. The rate and extent of peroxide formation with DPGME is unknown, but is expected to be low. This is not expected to present any hazard.


LD50 (oral, rat): 5.22 g/kg (reported as 5.50 mL/kg) (male rat); 5.18 g/kg (reported as 5.45 mL/kg) (female rat).(3)
LD50 (oral, dog): 7.13 g/kg (reported as 7.5 mL/kg).(3)
NOTE: In the study with rats, death was due to narcosis (central nervous system depression). In the study with dogs, death was due to respiratory failure and usually occurred within 48 hours or not at all.(3)

EYE IRRITATION (rabbit): One drop of undiluted DPGME placed in a rabbit's eye on each of five consecutive days caused a mild transitory irritation of the conjunctiva. There was no cumulative effect and no corneal injury.(3,10)

SKIN IRRITATION (rabbit): Continuous contact of DPGME for 90 days produced only a very mild irritation - far less in intensity than expected based on solvent properties.(3)

SKIN ABSORPTION (rabbit): Toxic effects can be produced by skin absorption, but only with very high repeated exposures. Deaths due to narcosis were associated with doses of 5 mL/kg (4.75 g/kg) and 10 mL/kg (9.50 g/kg) (5 days/week for 90 days). Doses under 5 mL/kg (4.75 g/kg) (5 days/week for 90 days) produced no adverse effects. No effects on body or organ weights, or changes in liver, lung, blood, heart and testes were seen. Some kidney changes were seen at 10 mL/kg.(3)

SHORT-TERM SKIN EXPOSURE (rabbit): No deaths from massive doses (20 mL/kg for 24 hours.(3)

SHORT-TERM INHALATION (rat): Adult male rats were given single 7-hour exposures to a concentration of dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME) calculated to be 500 ppm (the calculated saturated vapour concentration). The atmosphere was laden with fog and the animals were wet with the material at the end of exposure. There were no deaths and the rats exhibited only a mild narcosis.(9)
Rats and mice were exposed to 50, 140 or 330 ppm of a mixture of DPGME isomers, containing about 80% of 1-(2-methoxy-1-methylethoxy)-2-propanol for 6 hours/day for 9 days. No treatment related effects were observed except for increases in liver weights in male rats at all exposure concentrations and in female rats exposed to the highest concentration (330 ppm).(5)

LONG-TERM INHALATION (rat, mouse, guinea pig, monkey, rabbit): Repeated exposures to 300-400 ppm for 26-31 weeks (7 hours/day, 5 days/week) produced no significant effects. Female guinea pigs and rabbits and monkeys of both sexes showed minor liver changes. No liver changes were seen in rats of either sex.(9) Daily exposure of rats and rabbits to 200 ppm, 6 hours/day, 5 days/week, for 13 weeks caused no toxic effects including no effects on the lungs, brain, kidneys and blood.(10)

LONG-TERM ORAL (rat): Repeated doses of 1 g/kg for 35 days had no toxic effect.(3)

MUTAGENICITY: DPGME was not mutagenic in short-term bacterial tests with and without metabolic activation, and did not induce chromosomal aberrations or cause unscheduled DNA synthesis in cultured mammalian cells.(5)

TERATOGENICITY AND EMBRYOTOXICITY: There are no reports of the teratogenic or embryotoxic effects of DPGME.

REPRODUCTIVE EFFECTS: Studies with PGME have shown no significant effects on fertility or reproduction. Since DPGME is chemically related and is metabolized via the same routes to the same general types of metabolites as PGME (8), no reproductive effects would be expected.
There were no changes in testes weight or testicular histology in rats or rabbits exposed to 15, 50 or 200 ppm DPGME for 13 weeks (6 hours/day, 5 days/week).(10)


Selected Bibliography:
(1) Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological exposure indices. 6th ed. Vol. II. ACGIH, 1991. p. 520-521
(2) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards. NIOSH, June 1994. p. 122-123
(3) Patty's industrial hygiene and toxicology. 3rd rev. ed. Vol. 2C. John Wiley & Sons, 1982. p. 3989-3992
(4) Occupational health guideline for dipropylene glycol methyl ether. NIOSH/OSHA, 1981
(5) The toxicology of glycol ethers and its relevance to man : an up-dating of ECETOC technical report no. 4 (technical report no. 17). ECETOC, 1985
(6) Landry, T.D., et al. Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether : a 13-week inhalation toxicity study in rats and rabbits. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. Vol. 4 (1984). p. 612-617
(7) Langhorst, M. Glycol ethers - validation procedures for tube/pump and dosimeter monitoring methods. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. Vol. 45, no. 6 (1984). p. 416-424
(8) Miller R.R., et al. Metabolism and disposition of dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME) in male rats. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology. Vol. 5 (1985). p. 721-726
(9) Rowe, V., et al. Toxicology of mono-, di-, and tri-propylene glycol methyl ethers. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine. Vol. 9 (1954). p. 509-525
(10) Johansson, G. NEG and NIOSH basis for an occupational health standard: propylene glycol ethers and their acetates. Arbete och Halsa. Vol. 32 (1990)
(11) Fire protection guide to hazardous materials. 13th ed. Edited by A.B. Spencer, et al. National Fire Protection Association, 2002. NFPA 325
(12) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether. In: OSHA Analytical Methods Manual. Revision Date: Oct. 31, 2001. Available at: <>
(13) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Glycol Ethers. In: NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM(R)). 4th ed. Edited by M.E. Cassinelli, et al. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. Aug. 1994. Available at: <>

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: 1993-04-21

Revision Indicators:
TDG 1994-03-01
Fire fighting instructions 1995-01-01
Sensitivity to static charge 1995-10-01
Handling 1995-10-01
EU number 1995-10-01
EU class 1995-10-01
US transport 1995-10-01
Respiratory guidelines 1995-10-01
Sampling 1996-01-01
Resistance of materials 1998-05-01
TLV comments 1998-08-01
Bibliography 2003-03-25
NFPA (health) 2003-03-25
Carcinogenicity 2003-05-30
PEL-TWA transitional 2003-10-16
PEL transitional comments 2003-10-16
Bibliography 2005-04-04
Sampling/analysis 2005-04-04
Passive Sampling Devices 2005-04-04

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