Last week, OSHA and NIOSH issued a hazard alert warning workers and employers of the dangers of occupational exposure to 1-Bromopropane (1-BP), a solvent also known as n-propyl bromide, or nPB. The chemical 1-BP is used in degreasing, dry cleaning, spray adhesives, and aerosol solvents. According to OSHA and NIOSH, exposure to 1-BP can cause irritation of the eyes, mucous membranes, upper airways, and skin, and has also been linked to neurological illness. In addition, animal studies show that exposure to 1-BP may cause cancer and reproductive disorders.
Workers can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing in vapor or mists of spray, and 1-BP can also be absorbed if workers’ skin comes into contact with the chemical.
Federal OSHA does not currently have a specific exposure standard for 1-BP; however, limits set by other organizations do exist. For example, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 ppm as a time-weighted average for 1-BP as well as a skin notation, which means that workers’ skin, eyes, and mouths should be protected from contact with the chemical. In addition, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has set a threshold limit value (TLV) of 10 ppm as a time-weighted average for 1-BP. ACGIH proposed lowering that value to 0.1 ppm this year.
View the hazard alert.