EPA to Hold Evaluation Meeting on 1-BP Solvent


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it will hold a Toxic Substances Control Act Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals meeting to review the draft risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane (1-BP).

There, the agency will use information from the committee, as well as public comments, to inform the final risk evaluation. The meeting will be held Sept. 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia.

About 1-BP

1-BP, also known as n-propyl bromide (nPB), is a solvent (CAS 106-94-5) with several commercial applications and has increased in workplace uses over the past 20 years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

1-BP is often found in products used in adhesive spray applications as well as other uses such as vapor and immersion degreasing of metals, dry cleaning and solvent sprays used for asphalt production and aircraft maintenance.

1-BP has been linked to nervous system damage and neurological illnesses. According to OSHA, neurological effects can appear as headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, confusion, difficulty walking, muscle twitching, and/or loss of feeling in arms and legs. Those symptoms can also continue after exposure to 1-BP has ended.

As with many other solvents, workers can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing in vapor or mists of spray and can also be exposed if the chemical touches their skin. Additionally, the risk increases the longer they work with or near 1-BP. OSHA notes that impacts on health have been seen in workers after exposures for as little as two days, although symptoms are more commonly associated with longer exposure.

While OSHA does not currently have a specific exposure standard for 1-BP,  employers are required to keep workers safe from the hazard.

Degreasing, spray adhesive, aerosol solvent and dry-cleaning operations, for example, expose workers to air concentrations of 1-BP greater than the limits set by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

Cal-OSHA has adopted a 5 ppm (parts per million) time-weighted average PEL (permissible exposure limit) along with a skin notation, which means that a worker's skin, eyes and mouth should be protected from any contact with 1-BP; this limit was based on reproductive and developmental toxicity observed in animal studies and technological feasibility assessments. ACGIH currently recommends a 10 ppm time-weighted average threshold limit value but has reportedly proposed lowering the value to 0.1 ppm.

What Now

In August, the EPA released its draft risk evaluation of 1-BP, and determined that it presents “unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users and consumers under certain conditions.”

Aside from the meeting next week, public comment is open until Oct. 11 to assist the EPA in completing its final risk evaluation.


Tagged categories: Environmental Controls; EPA; EPA; Government; Health and safety; NA; North America; Regulations; Safety; Solvents

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