1-Bromopropane Safety & Health Effects: MSDSonline

1-Bromopropane Safety & Health Effects

Industrial solvents are used frequently and in various industries, from dry cleaning to asphalt work. Due to the nature of this type of work, the solvents used in the past were strong, toxic and dangerous to both workers and the environment, particularly involving ozone issues. About twenty years ago, in an effort to supply industries with a solvent that was both effective and less dangerous to handle, 1-Bromopropane, an n-propyl bromide (nPB), was created.

While 1-Bromopropane is safer, it is still a dangerous chemical compound.  This year, the National Toxicology Program unanimously classified 1-Bromopropane as a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen. Therefore, there are specific guidelines for usage and administration that need to be followed by both employers and employees to ensure personal and environmental safety.

How Is 1-Bromopropane Used?

1-Bromopropane is a colorless liquid with a hydrocarbon odor that is used as a solvent. The main uses for 1-Bromopropane are:

  • Solvent sprays used in operations such as asphalt production, aircraft maintenance, and synthetic fiber manufacturing
  • Vapor and immersion degreasing operations for cleaning metals, plastics and electronic and optical components
  • Dry cleaning
  • Adhesive spray applications

Ways 1-Bromopropane Effects Health

The minimal ways 1-Bromopropane effects health are irritation and inflammation of mucous membranes, in the eyes, upper breath airways, nose and on the skin. The most serious side effects, however, can involve neurological damage.
Studies have shown that extended occupational exposure to 1-Bromopropane in higher-than-recommended guidelines has resulted in significant injury to workers. Of all uses of 1-Bromopropane, aerosol glues used to glue foam cushions have been especially problematic. Serious health issues from overexposure to 1-Bromopropane can include:

  • Nervous system damage
  • Headaches
  • Dystharia (motor speech disorder)
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Ataxia (muscle twitching)
    Loss of feeling in arms and legs
  • Arthraglia (non-arthritis joint pain)
  • Infertility

Most exposure to 1-Bromopropane is due to the inhalation of 1-Bromopropane vapor. Symptoms from severe exposure to 1-Bromopropane can start in as little as two days and last as long as over a year from the last exposure.

Exposure and Worker Protection Guidelines

Federal OSHA does not have a mandated exposure standard for 1-Bromopropane, but this does not preclude employers from needing to adhere to set safety guidelines, industry standards or separate state OSHA regulations. For information on your specific region’s state rules about 1-Bromopropane, visit MSDSonline’s leading online library of Safety Data Sheets.

The industry standard for working with 1-Bromopropane was established in 2003 by the ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industry Hygienists). The standard set a time-weighted average threshold limit for workers of an eight-hour exposure at 10 parts per million. In addition to this standard, employers are also responsible for (courtesy of OHSA):

  • Providing a safe and healthy work environment
  • Providing initial and ongoing training and information for workers who will be exposed to 1-Bromopropan
  • Making available copies of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for 1-BP
  • Training workers on how to properly use equipment designed to reduce 1-Bromopropane exposures
  • Employing engineering controls to help reduce worker exposure to 1-Bromopropane, such as ventilation, isolation and updated equipment

Workers also need to wear the proper protective equipment when working with 1-Bromopropane:

Respirator – employers are required to provide workers with respirators that are either NIOSH-certified with air purifying or NIOSH-approved supplied air. All respirators need to be distributed with a written respiratory plan that includes information on proper respirator selection and maintenance, fit testing, medical evaluations, cartridge change schedules, a program administrator and training.

Skin Protection – 1-Bromopropane is easily absorbed through the skin, so chemical-protective gloves, arm coverings, aprons and eye protection needs to be administered and worn by all workers coming into contact with 1-Bromopropane. It is also strongly recommended that multiple-layer laminates be worn underneath the protective layer.
1-Bromopropane is a dangerous chemical and long-term exposure or improper handling can be hazardous. It is important for companies to have material safety data sheets (MSDS) that document and outline the dangers, composition, safe handling, and proper disposal for this chemical.

1-Bromopropane is a dangerous chemical and long-term exposure or improper handling can be hazardous. It is important for companies to have material safety data sheets (MSDS) that document and outline the dangers, composition, safe handling, and proper disposal for this chemical.

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