Toxic Solvents You’ve Never Heard Of

August 11, 2011 at 6:07 am Leave a comment

Glymes are a family of solvents that can test your organic chemistry geek factor. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of ‘ether’, but, unless you’ve worked full-time in an organic chemistry lab, you’ve probably never heard of ‘glyme’ (rhymes with ‘rhyme’).

That’s about to change. According to the Mother Nature Network (August 8, 2011, “EPA takes on obscure chemicals in consumer products”), the EPA is about to crack down on these widely used, but seldom recognized, toxic solvents.

monoglyme, ethyl glyme, diglyme

Studies in rodents have shown that all three solvents can cause abnormalities in developing animals. Some of these glymes also cause reproductive problems. A 1995 study funded by the Semiconductor Industry Association and published in a full issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reported a pattern of increased miscarriages among women workers exposed to mixtures of ethylene-based glycol ethers including diglyme.

Glyme solvents are widely used in manufacturing, and their uses are not limited to semiconductor and electronic products. When the EPA rules go into effect, 14 different members of the glyme family will be controlled.


Entry filed under: In the News.

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