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OSHA/NIOSH hazard alert: 1-bromopropane.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-150, 2013 Jul; :1-7
1-Bromopropane (1-BP) is a solvent that is used in degreasing, dry cleaning, spray adhesives, and aerosol solvents. Occupational exposure to 1-BP has been linked to neurological illnesses. Animal studies show that 1-BP may also cause cancer and reproductive disorders. Controls and personal protective equipment are available to protect workers from 1-BP exposure. Exposure to 1-BP can cause irritation (for example, of the eyes, mucous membranes, upper airways and skin) and can damage the nervous system. Neurologic effects can appear as headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, confusion, difficulty walking, muscle twitching, and/or loss of feeling in arms and legs [Ichihara et al. 2012]. These effects may continue among affected persons even after exposure to 1-BP has ended [Majersik et al. 2007]. As with many other solvents, workers can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing in vapor or mists of spray. Workers might also be exposed if the chemical touches their skin because it can be absorbed [Hanley et al. 2006; Frasch et al. 2011]. Additionally, the risk of health effects to workers increases the longer they work with or near 1-BP. Impacts on health have been seen in workers after exposures for as little as two days, although symptoms are more commonly associated with longer exposure [Ichihara et al. 2012]. Federal OSHA does not currently have a specific exposure standard for 1-BP; however, employers are required by law to keep their workers safe from this recognized hazard. Degreasing, spray adhesive, aerosol solvent and dry cleaning operations expose workers to air concentrations of 1-BP greater than the limits set by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). California has adopted a 5 ppm (parts per million) time-weighted average PEL (permissible exposure limit) along with a skin notation which means that a worker's skin, eyes and mouth should be protected from any contact with 1-BP; this limit was based on reproductive and developmental toxicity (observed in animal studies) and technological feasibility assessments from industry [CA DIR 2009]. ACGIH currently recommends a 10 ppm time-weighted average threshold limit value but has proposed lowering the value to 0.1 ppm [ACGIH 2013].
Exposure-assessment; Hazards; Health-hazards; Propanes; Neurological-reactions; Neurological-diseases; Cancer; Carcinogens; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Solvent-vapor-degreasing; Solvents; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Dry-cleaning-industry; Adhesives; Aerosols; Environmental-control; Environmental-control-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Mucous-membranes; Eye-irritants; Skin-irritants; Airway-obstruction; Inhalants; Skin-absorption; Sprays; Exposure-limits; Permissible-concentration-limits; Time-weighted-average-exposure
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-150; B20130805; M082013
NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division