Mutagenicity and cytotoxicity of 2-butoxyethanol and its metabolite, 2-butoxyacetaldehyde, in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-AS52) cells
2-Methoxyethanol (2-ME) is being substituted by 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) as a solvent for the preparation of industrial and consumer products. Since we have shown that a metabolite of 2-methoxyethanol, methoxyacetaldehyde (MALD), is mutagenic in a subline of Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-AS52), we have conducted a similar study using 2-BE and its metabolite, butoxyacetaldehyde (BALD). The results indicate that 2-BE and BALD are not mutagenic to CHO-AS52 cells. However, 2-BE is more cytotoxic than 2-ME. In comparison of our study with others on glycol ethers, the data indicate that, for glycol ethers, cytotoxicity increased with chain length of the alkyl groups. For their metabolites, mutagenicity increases with reduced chain length. Therefore, we suggest that safer solvents should be developed for use in preparation of products.