Transcutaneous Ethylene Glycpl Monomethyl Ether Poisoning in the Work Setting

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During the period of an “energy crisis” in 1974, two workers in a textile printing plant in Massachusetts developed clinical manifestations of encephalopathy. Both had evidence of bone marrow injury and one had pancytopenia. Study of their work environment revealed that they had ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (ECMME) poisoning primarily due to cutaneous exposure. ECMME was used as a cleansing agent as a substitute for acetone, which was unavailable due to temporary shortage. Proper product labels could have prevented the illness.

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