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2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent in paints and surface coatings, as well as cleaning products and inks. Other products that contain 2-butoxyethanol include acrylic resin formulations, asphalt release agents, firefighting foam, leather protectors, oil spill dispersants, bowling pin and lane degreaser, and photographic strip solutions. Other products containing 2-butoxyethanol as a primary ingredient include some whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps, cosmetics, dry cleaning solutions, lacquers, varnishes, herbicides, and latex paints.
2-Butoxyethanol is frequently found in popular cleaning products. It provides cleaning power and the characteristic odor of Windex and other glass cleaners. It is the main ingredient of many home, commercial and industrial cleaning solutions, such as Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.
The identity of the sulfonic acid salt used in both forms of Corexit was disclosed to the EPA in June 2010, as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
Nalco had previously declined to identify the third hazardous substance in the 9500 formula, but EPA's website reveals it to be dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, a detergent and common ingredient in laxatives.
...and its side effects...
Docusate is given to make stools softer and easier to pass. It is used to treat constipation due to hard stools, in painful anorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids, and for people who should avoid straining during bowel movements. Of note is that the effect of docusate may not necessarily be all due to its surfactant properties. Perfusion studies suggest that docusates inhibit fluid absorption or stimulate secretion in the portion of the small intestine known as the jejunum. Patients should take plenty of water to help the movement of feces, therefore speeding up the initial bowel movement.
Possible side effects are typically mild and include stomach pain, diarrhea, or cramping. Serious allergic reactions can occur with the drug. The most severe side effect of docusate, although very rare, is rectal bleeding.
Propylene glycol is used:
- As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations. Notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form.
- As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
- As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
- As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products
- As a carrier in fragrance oils
- As an ingredient in massage oils
- In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
- In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters' training and theatrical productions
- In electronic cigarettes, as a vaporizable base for diluting the nicotine liquid
- As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
- As an ingredient, along with wax and gelatin, in the production of paintballs
- As a moisture stabilizer (humectant) for snus (Swedish style snuff).
- As a cooling agent for beer and wine glycol jacketed fermentation tanks
- As a non-toxic antifreeze for winterizing drinking water systems, and in applications where the used antifreeze eventually will be drained into the soil, water, or a septic system.
- As a less-toxic antifreeze in solar water heating systems
- As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
- In cryonics
- As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
- As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
- To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
- As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
- As an additive to pipe tobacco to prevent dehydration.
- To treat livestock ketosis
- As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.
- To de-ice aircraft.
- As an ingredient in UV or blacklight tattoo ink
A cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In the skin and hair, propylene glycol works as a humescent, which causes retention of moisture content of skin or cosmetic products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. The Material Safety Data Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
Known health effects.
Eye irritation, skin irritation, skin drying, defatting. Ingestion has serious health effects similar to above.
Well, I wouldn't exactly take a bath in propylene glycol either... it is an irritant. The point is, however, that when we are faced with a choice of leaving the Gulf full of crude or introducing these chemicals, these chemicals appear pretty tame compared to the oil. I seriously doubt that any of the ingredients, alone or combined, will cause any greater havoc than we have already caused.