2-Butoxyethanol (bu-tox-zi-eth-an-ol) has many names, including ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylene glycol butyl ether, ethylene glycol n-butyl ether, Butyl Cellosolve, butyl glycol, butyl Oxitol, glycol butyl ether, Dowanol EB, Gafcol EB, Polysolv EB, and Ektasolve EB. Common abbreviations for 2-butoxyethanol include BE and EGBE. It is a clear, colorless liquid that smells somewhat like ether.
2-Butoxyethanol in the environment comes from some industrial activities. It is usually produced by a reaction of ethylene oxide with butyl alcohol, but it may also be made by the reaction of ethylene glycol with dibutyl sulfate. 2-Butoxyethanol is widely used as a solvent in protective surface coatings such as spray lacquers, quick-dry lacquers, enamels, varnishes, and latex paints. It is also used as an ingredient in paint thinners and strippers, varnish removers, agricultural chemicals, herbicides, silicon caulks, cutting oils, and hydraulic fluids. It has other uses in metal cleaners, fabric dyes and inks, industrial and household cleaners (as a degreaser), and dry-cleaning compounds. It is also used in liquid soaps and in cosmetics.
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