Toxicity of glycol ethers

Project No. BGFA TOX006


completed 12/2002


Glycol ethers are used in different industries in an increasing extent. Some glycol ethers are well known for their toxic properties for reproduction and/or development. In a literature study information regarding the reproductive or developmental toxicity of glycol ethers and similar compounds was collected and evaluated. Aim of this project was to contribute data for an improved risk assessment with respect to the exposition at the workplace.


Literature search in pubmed, toxline and DART/ETIC (data base specialised in development toxicity and reproductive toxicity)


The reproductive and developmental toxicity of 27 glycol ethers, ethylene glycols and propylene glycols was assessed and the substances were classified into three types with respect to data availability and potential health risks after exposure to that substances. The classification aims to provide help in the decision whether or not a certain substain should be used at the workplace.

Last Update:

12 May 2003


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum (BGFA)
  • Berufsgenossenschaftlichen Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BIA
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliche Zentrale für Sicherheit und Gesundheit (BGZ)

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

Gefahrstoffe, Arbeitsbedingte Gesundheitsgefahren


Toxikologie, Prävention, Lösungsmittel

Description, key words:

reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, fertility, ethylene glycol ethers, propylene glycol ethers, ethylene glycols, propylene glycols