August 13, 2020

EPA Finalizes Risk Evaluation of Solvent 1-BP

A final risk evaluation published by EPA this week identifies “unreasonable” risks to workers associated with the chemical 1-bromopropane under certain conditions of use, including as a solvent in industrial and commercial cleaning and degreasing, in adhesives and sealants, in dry cleaning and spot cleaning for clothing, and in several specialty spray and aerosol applications. Occupational non-users, or workers in the general area of 1-BP use, also face unreasonable risks under the same industrial and commercial uses. The agency also identified unreasonable risks for consumer uses such as in spot cleaners and stain removers; in adhesive accelerants used in arts, crafts, and hobby materials; and in automotive care products such as refrigerant flush. EPA says it found no unreasonable risk in other specific conditions of use of 1-BP such as those associated with domestic manufacture, processing as a reactant, and commercial and consumer use in insulation. The agency further states that 1-BP presents no unreasonable risks to the environment.

“EPA’s unreasonable risk determinations are due to developmental toxicity from acute exposures, and developmental toxicity and cancer from chronic exposures,” a summary of the risk evaluation (PDF) states.

A previous draft risk assessment for 1-BP, which was published by EPA in 2016, also indicates health risks for workers with repeated and chronic exposures to the chemical, including neurotoxicity; kidney, liver, and reproductive toxicity; and lung cancer. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added 1-BP to the Report on Carcinogens (PDF), a congressionally mandated report that identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures that pose a hazard to people in the U.S. The report states that 1-BP is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” OSHA and NIOSH previously issued a joint hazard alert warning workers and employers of the dangers of occupational exposure to 1-BP in 2013. EPA’s website states that it “strongly recommends that workers and employers should consider the hazard alert.”

Under Toxic Substances Control Act legislation, EPA has two years to finalize actions to address the unreasonable risks identified in its final risk evaluation of 1-BP. The agency states that these proposed regulations could include requirements on how 1-BP is used. EPA’s actions may also limit or prohibit the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of 1-BP.