What Is Butyl Cellosolve And Why You Should Avoid It.

Butyl Cellosolve is a chemical that is found in a wide variety of household cleaning agents – glass cleaners, oven cleaners, general degreasers, spot removers, air fresheners, and carpet cleaners, among other things. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odour and is manufactured by the Eastman Kodak company. But why should you look out for it?

It is also known as butyl glycol, Dowanol, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE), which has made it on to the list of California’s toxic air substances, and some animal studies indicate that it produces reproductive problems, such as testicular damage, reduced fertility, death of embryos and birth defects. In humans, it can irritate mucous membranes and cause liver and kidney damage. Butyl cellosolve is also a neurotoxin that can depress the nervous system and cause a variety of associated problems. Sounds like something we should be using around our house, no?

So let this serve as yet another example of a dangerous toxic chemical that is prevalent on our grocery store shelves. Before you buy a cleaning product, be sure to read the label and look for this ingredient under one of its “pseudonyms” above. Ideally, you want to avoid toxic cleaners at all, but if you cannot, be cautious when using anything with this ingredient in it!

6 thoughts on “What Is Butyl Cellosolve And Why You Should Avoid It.”

  1. Women’s Voices for the Earth recently released a report called Household Hazards: Potential Hazards of Home Cleaning Products which includes a section o n butyl cellosolve (also know as 2-butoxyethanol).
    The report includes an appendix with a list of common cleaning products which contain this chemical. (Its usually not listed on the label!)
    You can download this report and appendix at:

    You can also take action at this site, and sign a petition asking cleaning product manufacturers to remove this and other toxic chemicals from their products!

  2. I have been using a lens cleaner pushed by OPSM for my glasses. It’s 93% purified water and 7% butyl cellosolve is this unsafe long turn to use on your glasses near your eyes??

    • Zeiss recommends only pure ethanol for cleaning its optics. A relatively cheap source of that is the liquor called “Everclear.” Great for cleaning, nasty for drinking.

  3. Just about everything according to California is toxic, causes cancer and should be avoided. At one time they claimed hamburger caused cancer. Seriously according to California about the only safe thing to do is stop living and die, because there literally is no reason to live because it is just too dangerous!


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