Recently, industry has increased the use of the solvent 1-bromopropane (1-BP) as a substitute for other banned substances. Now, scientists are looking into potential problems with 1-BP.
1-BP is used to clean electronics and metal. In some states, it’s also being used as an alternative in the dry cleaning industry instead of perchloroethylene, which is considered “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Now, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says the solvent may represent an unrecognized occupational health risk.
In a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, NIOSH presents two cases of workers exposed to 1-BP who were diagnosed with clinical manifestations of neurotoxicity. The cases were from the electronics and dry cleaning industries.
Also, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) has concluded that there’s sufficient evidence of developmental and reproductive toxicity among animals exposed to 1-BP.
NIOSH doesn’t have a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL), nor does OSHA has a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for 1-BP.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends an 8-hour time weighted average (TLV) of 10 perts per million (ppm).
EPA says exposures within or below the range of 17 to 30 ppm are anticipated to be protective against reproductive effects in men and women.
NIOSH recommends engineering controls and work practices, including personal protective equipment, to limit workers’ exposure where 1-BP is manufactured, used, handled or stored.
The agency continues to study the solvent.