The Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) and Butanediol (BDO) Panel of the American Chemistry Council formed in 2000 to pursue initiatives related to advocacy, communications, education, testing and legitimate use of GBL (CAS # 96-48-0) and BDO (CAS # 110-63-4). The Panel‘s advocacy has focused on international, national, state and local initiatives through regulatory and legislative advocacy efforts. The Panel is composed of manufacturers and distributors of GBL and BDO.
Industrial and Commercial Uses
GBL and BDO have many industrial and commercial uses. One significant use of GBL is an intermediate in the manufacture of pyrrolidones, which are widely used industrial chemicals. A second significant use of GBL, because of its strong solvency properties, is in applications such as circuit board cleaning in electronics and high technology industries, and paint stripping. Other applications include the production of herbicides and as a processing aid in the production of pharmaceuticals. BDO is used as an intermediate in common industrial and commercial products such as polyether diols, urethane polymers and polyester polymers. Many of the polyester polymers are used as automotive components such as car bumpers. BDO is also used as a plasticizer, a carrier solvent in printing inks and a cleaning agent.
Commitment to Legitimate Use
The Panel is committed to the goal that GBL and BDO be used only for legitimate applications. Unfortunately, GBL and BDO can be converted into gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and used for illegal purposes. To help prevent misuse, the producers of GBL and BDO formed the GBL/ BDO Panel of the American Chemistry Council.
The proliferation of illicit drugs in the United States is an issue of national importance. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) provides the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with tools to reduce illicit drug production by denying drug traffickers the chemicals they need to produce illicit drugs. GBL has been designated by the DEA as a List I chemical and is subject to the requirements of the CSA. Although BDO is not subject to Federal regulation, some states have designated it as a controlled substance. The majority of states are regulating GBL and BDO as controlled or listed substances.
Panel members diligently work with state regulators and enforcement agents including, the DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to help investigate abuse of these chemicals. The Panel promotes the education of regulators and industrial users to prevent misuse of the chemical products. Companies have also individually instituted procedures to prevent diversions of these chemicals and encourage customers to do likewise.
As part of their continuing effort to help ensure their products are only used safely and properly, the Panel members support the following practices regarding sales and use of GBL and BDO. Specifically, Panel members:
- Promote awareness of applicable DEA and local requirements internally and to customers and distributors to assist in maintaining product security.
- Require written confirmation of intended use from customers to help ensure compliance with Federal, state and local requirements.
- Report suspicious, unusual product orders or sample requests to appropriate officials.
- Promote awareness of proper safety and handling procedures for GBL and BDO among distributors and customers.
- Assist regulators in drafting effective and workable regulations regarding the legitimate use of GBL and BDO.
- Monitor pending legislation to enable continued availability and responsible use of GBL and BDO for authorized applications.
For Further Information
The GBL/BDO Panel has created both a brochure and a “Question and Answer” to help inform persons who have questions about GBL and BDO.