printech, January, 2004
Re: OSHA Withdraws TB and Glycol Ether Exposure Rules


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From: Dave Salman (Salman.Dave@epamail.epa.gov )
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 08:05:10


Gary -

The wording about glycol ethers [". . .now mainly used in closed systems where employees have little opportunity for exposure."] seemed strange to me, so I looked at the entire news item on the OSHA website to see which glycol ethers they are referring to.

The glycol ethers they are referring to are

"two ethylene glycol ethers (2-Methoxyethanol (2-ME) and 2-Ethoxyethanol (2-EE), and their acetates (2-MEA, 2-EEA)" [ethylene glycol monomethyl ether, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether and their acetates].

Large quantities of these solvents (hundreds of millions of pounds per year) of these solvents were used in coatings up until the early to mid-1980's. In response to health/safety concerns the use of these solvents was greatly reduced/largely eliminated in the mid-1980's. This led to much greater use in coatings of other glycol ethers such as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and its acetate.

Dave



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