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Proposal to Remove EGBE from Clean Air Act Toxic Pollutants List

Release Date: 11/04/2003
Contact Information:

Press Advisory

    John Millett 202-564-7842 /

    (11/04/03) Based on an extensive review of ambient ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) levels in the air and the associated health and environmental impacts, EPA is proposing to remove EGBE from the Clean Air Act list of toxic air pollutants. EGBE is used in hydraulic fluids and in water-based coatings for various industries including can manufacturers. It is used in vinyl and acrylic paints and varnishes and as a solvent for varnishes, enamels, spray lacquers, dry cleaning compounds, textiles, and cosmetics. EPA has concluded that potential exposures from industrial sources to EGBE may not reasonably be anticipated to cause human health or environmental problems.

    During the technical review, EPA looked at EGBE to determine its potential to cause cancer in humans and concluded that it can damage red blood cells but does not cause cancer in humans at the levels present in
    air. If new information on the health and environmental impacts of EGBE becomes available before the rule is
    finalized, the agency will carefully review and consider the additional information before making a final decision.

    The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate 188 compounds that are listed as toxic air pollutants. The law allows EPA to consider petitions to modify the list, by adding or removing substances. EPA reviewed EGBE exposure and health effects in response to a petition from the American Chemistry Council. EPA will take public comment for 60 days following Federal Register publication of the proposed rule. The agency will hold a public hearing on the proposal if it receives requests within 15 days of publication. A prepublication copy of the proposal is available online at .