Ethoxyacetic acid: a metabolite of ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate in man

Br J Ind Med. 1987 Jul;44(7):488-93. doi: 10.1136/oem.44.7.488.


Urinary excretion of ethoxyacetic acid during and after exposure to ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate (EGEE-Ac) was followed up in ten healthy male volunteers. During exposure to EGEE-Ac, ethoxyacetic acid levels appeared with a half life of 2.3 +/- 0.1 h. Ethoxyacetic acid excretion continued to increase after exposure was discontinued reaching maximal levels three to four hours later. The decline afterwards could generally be described assuming a half life of 23.6 +/- 1.8 h. A second maximum excretion of ethoxyacetic acid, however, was noticed about three hours after the first. Redistribution of EGEE-Ac or ethoxyacetic acid, or both, from a peripheral compartment to the central compartment could explain this observation. Ethoxyacetic acid excretion increased with an increase in the uptake of EGEE-Ac due to higher exposure concentrations or pulmonary ventilation rate during physical exercise. On average 22.2 +/- 0.9% of the absorbed EGEE-Ac was recovered within 42 hours. Recovery did not change with a higher intake of EGEE-Ac. At any time after the exposure, quantitative relations between ethoxyacetic acid excretion rate and absorbed dose of EGEE-Ac were found. Monitoring ethoxyacetic acid excretion may therefore be used as a measure of a single exposure to EGEE-Ac.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / urine*
  • Adult
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Ethylene Glycols / metabolism*
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male


  • Acetates
  • Ethylene Glycols
  • ethoxyacetic acid
  • ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate