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Classification of glycol ethers

Glycol Ethers in Europe are classified according to Regulation EC No. 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP). As laid out in the regulation, glycol ethers have been assessed against pre-defined criteria using all of the available data, including the results of research work carried out by the producers of these substances. An overview of the Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, & Reprotoxic (CMR) classifications are given below:

  • No glycol ether is classified as carcinogenic
  • No glycol ether is classified as mutagenic
  • For glycol ethers derived from ethylene oxide (the E series), 7 glycol ethers are classified for reproductive toxicity as category 1B under CLP and carry the Hazard Phrase H360 – May damage fertility or the unborn child. Only 3 of them are produced commercially in the EU: ethylene glycol methyl ether (EGME), ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (EGDME) and diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (DEGDME). 1 glycol ether is classified is classified for reproductive toxicity as category 2 and carries the Hazard Phrase H361 – Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child.
  • For glycol ethers derived from propylene oxide (the P series), none have shown any effects on reproduction in experimental studies, with the exception of 1-propylene glycol 2-methyl ether (1PG2ME) and its acetate (1PG2MEA). Neither of these two substances is available commercially as the pure substance. Both are classified for reproductive toxicity as category 1B under CLP and carry the Hazard phrase H360 – May damage fertility or the unborn child.

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