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NIOSH Seeks Public Comment on Draft Criteria Document for 1-Bromopropane (1-BP)

March 8, 2016
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Spring (202) 245-0633

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is asking for public comment on a newly released draft NIOSH Criteria Document on Occupational Exposure to 1-Bromopropane. The draft criteria document provides a comprehensive summary of the known health effects, exposure data, quantitative risk assessment, and recommendations for controlling exposures in the workplace. It also proposes a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 0.3 ppm based on a quantitative risk assessment conducted by NIOSH.  A public meeting to discuss the draft document will be held on March 30, 2016, at the NIOSH Robert A. Taft Laboratories in Cincinnati, OH.

1-Bromopropane, often referred to as 1-BP, is an organic solvent used in a variety of occupational settings, including manufacturing processes, degreasing operations, cleaning electronics and metal, as well as a solvent for using aerosol applied adhesives. It is also used as an alternative solvent in the dry cleaning industry. Since the late 20th century, 1-BP has received increased global attention as an alternative to ozone-depleting substances and other regulated chemicals.

1-BP is a volatile organic solvent, which means that it can be found as a vapor at room temperature. Workers who are exposed to 1-BP breathe in the vapor. 1-BP can be absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream and distributed to the rest of the body, where it can have toxic effects. Workers can also be exposed through contact with liquid 1-BP on the skin, often as a result of spills or splashes.

Excessive exposure to 1-BP can cause irritation, such as eye and skin irritation, and can damage the nervous system. Neurologic effects include headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, confusion, difficulty walking, muscle twitching, and/or loss of feeling in arms and legs. 1-BP has also been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and is designated as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Additional animal studies have shown that exposure can result in non-cancer health effects as well, including organ-specific toxicity. In 2013, NIOSH and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) jointly released a Hazard Alert on 1-BP exposure for workers.

NIOSH will be accepting public comments on the draft document until April 29, 2016. The draft document and information about attending the public meeting are available at

In addition to the NIOSH draft criteria document, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft Toxic Substances Control Act Work Plan Chemical Risk Assessment for 1-Bromopropane, which provides a summary of health effects and exposure data for both workers and consumers for particular uses of 1-BP. The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has also released a draft ATSDR Toxicological Profile on 1-Bromopropane. While each agency’s review has a distinct focus based on their mandates, they draw similar conclusions about the health hazards of 1-BP. NIOSH, EPA, and ATSDR will continue to coordinate in addressing concerns associated with this chemical. All three agencies’ documents are currently available for public comment.

More information about NIOSH’s work on 1-BP is available on our Science Blog. NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about our work visit

FAQ for NIOSH 1 BP Draft Document [PDF – 80K]