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ASTDR Announces Draft Toxicological Profiles for Six Biocidal Materials

ASTDR Announces Draft Toxicological Profiles for Six Biocidal Materials

Author: Jack Schatz/Tuesday, October 24, 2017/Categories: Science, Prop65, CDC/ASTDR

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The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has announced the availability of the draft toxicological profiles for these six biocidal substances--some of which are on the Proposition 65 chemical list, and others that could soon become candidates for listing in the future.

The six chemicals or substances profiled are:

  • DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide);
  •  Toluene
  • Glutaraldehyde;
  •       1-bromopropane (1-BP); and         
  •       nitrate and nitrite

The ATSDR draft profiles show information on the potential toxicologic and adverse health effects on humans exposed to the six substances. It may also include public statements, advisories, regulations, and guidelines relevant to the substances. 

The ATSDR is legally mandated to create toxicology profiles for items included on the National Priorities List (NPL). The complete list of toxic substances and their published profiles can be found on the website of the agency.

Uses of the Biocidal Substances


  • DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)


DEET, an insect repellant, is the active ingredient in some sprays, wipes, lotions and other products used to drive away mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects.  Products with DEET have been used in the U.S. since 1957.          

  •          Toluene


Toluene is used in various industrial processes such as leather tanning, printing and synthesis of benzoic acid, trinitrotoluene (TNT), toluene diisocyanate, benzoic acid and benzoyl chloride. It is also an additive to improve the octane ratings of gasoline. It is also used in making paint thinners and surface coating products such as fingernail polish, paints and lacquers.


  •        Glutaraldehyde


Glutaraldehyde is a disinfectant and medicine. It is used to treat warts on feet. It is widely used as a disinfectant for laboratory, industrial, medical and agricultural equipment and surfaces that are sensitive to heat. Among its industrial uses are in the recovery of oil and gas and as a pesticide in poultry houses.   


Glutaraldehyde is also a chemical intermediate in the production of embalming fluid and other materials, in X-ray processing and in leather tanning.


     Exposure to glutaraldehyde may result to asthma and breathing difficulty, allergic dermatitis, sneezing, and conjunctivitis.


·         1-bromopropane (1-BP)


1-bromopropane is a solvent with a wide range of industrial applications that include the production of various flavors and fragrances, pharmaceutical products, asphalt, synthetic fibers, and pesticides. It can be found in products used as adhesive sprays, vapor degreaser, dry cleaning and for metal and electronic cleaning of aircraft. It is also used as an alternative to more harmful chemicals.  


Exposure to 1-bromopropane (1-BP) may result in irritation of the eyes, skin, mucous membrane and the upper airways. It could also harm the nervous system manifested as dizziness, headaches, slurred speech, difficulty in walking, confusion and other symptoms.


·         Nitrate and nitrite

Nitrate and nitrite are used as food preservatives and in the production of explosives and munitions. It is also used as an antidote for poisoning with cyanide and to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. 



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Jack Schatz

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