California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has announced its intention to list 1-bromopropane as a carcinogen under Proposition 65.
The agency cites a report published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2014 that said scientists have observed increased occurrence of skin tumors in male rats and tumors appearing on the lungs in female rats exposed to the chemical.
1-bromopropane is used as a solvent cleaner in degreasing operations, dry cleaning, spray adhesives, and in aerosol solvents. 1-Bromopropane is also used as a gaseous or liquid solvent for degreasing plastics, and optics and is also used in some aerosols.
The chemical’s increased use in the 21st century has resulted from the need for a substitute for chlorofluorocarbons and perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene).
The European Union has classified 1-Bromopropane as reproductive toxicant per the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), which makes it a “substance of very high concern”
1-bromopropane has been on the Proposition 65 list as a male and female reproductive toxicant since 2004.
Exposure to high levels of 1-bromopropane in an occupational setting can cause serious health concerns for workers.
Extended occupational exposure to 1-bromopropane in higher concentrations than recommended has resulted in significant injury to workers in the United States. Its use as a solvent in aerosol glues used to glue foam cushions has been especially controversial.
Reported symptoms of overexposure affect the nervous system and include confusion, slurred speech, dizziness, paresthesias, and difficulty walking, unusual fatigue and headaches, development of arthralgias, visual disturbances (difficulty focusing), and muscle twitching. Symptoms may persist over one year. Other symptoms include irritation of mucous membranes, eyes, upper respiratory tract, and skin, as well as transient loss of consciousness.
In 2003, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) set the time-weighted average threshold limit value for an 8-hour exposure at 10 parts per million (ppm). In 2014, the ACGIH adopted a lower threshold limit value of 0.1 ppm as an 8-hour time-weighted average.