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Published on Oct 5, 2016
1-Bromopropane (1-BP), also known as n-propyl bromide, is a colorless liquid solvent with a sweet odor. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that the use of 1-BP has increased in workplaces over the past 20 years and that it is often found in products used in: • Vapor and immersion degreasing operations for cleaning metals, plastics and electronic and optical components; • Adhesive spray applications; • Dry cleaning; and • Solvent sprays used in operations like asphalt production, aircraft maintenance and synthetic fiber manufacturing.
In early 2016, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment and peer review a draft risk assessment for the solvent. According to the document, 1-BP showed acute risks to women of childbearing age from adverse developmental effects. Other non-cancer and cancer health risks were identified for workers with repeated and chronic exposures, including neurotoxicity; kidney, liver and reproductive toxicity; and lung cancer.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added 1-bromopropane to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65 in August of 2016. Its listing was based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that the solvent causes cancer.
Workers in a number of industries can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing vapors or mists that contain the chemical as well as through skin contact. In addition to utilizing alternatives to 1-BP, evaluating exposures in the workplace, using the appropriate personal protective equipment and ensuring adequate ventilation can all help reduce worker exposures.
These are just a few things to know about 1-bromopropane and occupational exposure concerns. To learn more about this or other health and safety, occupational, environmental or air quality issues, please visit the websites shown below.