Glycol Ethers & Health, Safety and Environment
The industry has been successful in decreasing exposure of workers when handling solvents at the workplace. Technical and legislative improvements have led to such improvements. Aware of the potential risks that can result from the misuse of some types of glycol ethers, the manufacturers pursue a policy of active prevention towards their distributors and customers.
Glycol ether manufacturers always provide a safety data sheet to users in accordance with the regulations. This data sheet clearly shows how to minimise the risks of the product and the regulatory provisions in force, such as the exposure limits for industrial use and the prevention measures required for handling the product safely. The data sheet must be used by the user to assess the risks and must be passed on to company medical officers. All international research and evaluations show that glycol ethers do not accumulate in the environment, because they break down in the air within a few hours by photolysis (= breakdown reaction triggered by sunlight) and they are biodegradable within a few days in the aquatic environment.
Glycol ether manufacturers devote substantial resources to obtaining an in-depth knowledge of their products, thus helping to continually ensure their safe use. They work with both the academic world and the public authorities to assess the risks and strengthen safety measures. For more information, see the Research and in-depth studies section.