Eruptive cherry angiomas and irritant symptoms after one acute exposure to the glycol ether solvent 2-butoxyethanol.
J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Dec;40(12):1059-64. PMID: 9871882
Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.
Seven clerical workers were evaluated in 1993, 8 months after exposure to vaporized 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE; also called butyl cellosolve or ethylene glycol monobutyl ether [EGMBE or EGBE]), which had been applied overnight to strip the floor of their file room. At the time of exposure, they had noted intense eye and respiratory irritation, marked dyspnea, nausea, and faintness, suggesting a concentration of 2-BE in the air of 200-300 parts per million (ppm). All seven workers later experienced recurrent eye and respiratory irritation, dry cough, and headache. Four months after the exposure, cherry angiomas began to appear on the arms, trunk, and thighs of six workers, who voiced concerns about the possibility of cancer. Our evaluation found no evidence of hematologic, liver, lung, or renal toxicity, but elevations in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and blood pressure of each subject were found. Workplace air sampling found no detectable 2-BE, but traces (0.1-0.2 ppm) of formaldehyde were identified. Irritant symptoms abated after the group was moved to a room with better ventilation, and the mild hypertension gradually cleared, but new cherry angiomas have continued to appear 5 years after the acute exposure, as the initial ones persisted. These angiomas occur in healthy persons as they age but in this instance appear to have resulted from a single overexposure to 2-BE. We felt confident in reassuring the workers that they would suffer no serious consequences from this exposure.