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May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 68–12–2

NIOSH REL: 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a faint, amine-like odor.

LEL(@212 F): 2.2% (10% LEL(@212 F), 2,200 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 3,500 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statements by Clayton et al. [1963] that rats survived a 4-hour exposure to air saturated with dimethylformamide vapor [Smyth and Carpenter 1948] and inhalation of saturated vapors for 6 hours was lethal [Haskell Laboratory]. A.D. Little reports that the saturated concentration at 20 C is 3,550 ppm. Because exposures to rats for 4 hours were at saturated concentrations, 3,500 ppm is chosen as the IDLH.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) Derivedvalue
RatMouse HaskellStasenkova 1961 —–3,092 5,000—– 6 hr2 hr 11,500 ppm (2.3)4,947 ppm (1.6) 1,150 ppm496 ppm


Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value


Druckrey et al. 1967Lobanova 1958

Massmann 1956







6,447 ppm8,520 ppm

8,059 ppm

645 ppm852 ppm

806 ppm


Human data: None relevant for use in determining the revised IDLH.

Revised IDLH: 500 ppmBasis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for dimethylformamide is 500 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in animals [Stasenkov 1961].



1. A.D. Little [?]. A.D. Little, Inc. Information supplied to NIOSH during Standards Completion Project.

2. Clayton JW Jr, Barnes JR, Hood DB, Schepers GWH [1963]. The inhalation toxicity of dimethylformamide (DMF). Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 24:144-154.

3. Druckrey H, Preussmann R, Ivankovic S, Schmahl D [1967]. Organotrope carcinogene wirkungen bei 65 vershiedenen N-nitroso-verbindungen and BD-ratten. Zeitschrift für Krebsforschung 69:103-201 (in German).

4. Haskell Laboratory [?]. Unpublished report. [From Clayton JW Jr, Barnes JR, Hood DB, Schepers GWH [1963]. The inhalation toxicity of dimethylformamide (DMF). Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 24:144-154.]

5. Lobanova KP [1958]. Concerning the toxicity of dimethylformamide. Gig Tr Prof Zabol 23(5):31-37 (in Russian).

6. Massmann W [1956]. Toxicological investigations on dimethylformamide. Br J Ind Med 13:51-54.

7. Smyth HF Jr, Carpenter CP [1948]. Further experience with the range-finding test in the industrial toxicology laboratory. J Ind Hyg Toxicol 30(1):63-68.

8. Stasenkova KP [1961]. Toxicity of dimethylformamide. Toksikol Nov Prom Khim Vesh 1:54-69 (in Russian).