EPA Identifies Health Risks from 1-Bromopropane Exposure
EPA’s new draft risk assessment for 1-bromopropane (1-BP) indicates health risks for workers with repeated and chronic exposures to the chemical, including neurotoxicity; kidney, liver, and reproductive toxicity; and lung cancer. According to the agency, 1-BP also shows acute risks to women of childbearing age from adverse developmental defects. EPA estimates that as many as 48,900 workers and occupational non-users are potentially exposed to 1-BP from use in spray adhesives, dry cleaning, vapor degreasing, and aerosol degreasing. The agency did not have sufficient information to estimate how many consumers and non-users may be exposed to 1-BP while using aerosol spray adhesives, aerosol spot removers, and aerosol cleaners and degreasers. The draft risk assessment identifies added cancer risks for workers as a result of chronic exposure to 1-BP from occupational use as a spray adhesive; in dry cleaning, including as a spot cleaner; and in degreasing operations. According to the draft risk assessment, the estimated cancer risk exceeded 1 in 1,000 for most occupational uses of 1-BP that EPA evaluated. Spray adhesives presented the greatest risk. This risk assessment was developed as a part of EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Work Plan, which identifies chemicals for review and assessment of potential risks to human health and the environment. EPA’s draft risk assessment for 1-BP is open for public comment and peer review through May 9, 2016. For more information, see EPA’s press release. NIOSH recently released a draft document, Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to 1-Bromopropane (1-BP), which includes a proposed recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.3 ppm (1.5 mg/m3 of air) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration during a 40-hour workweek. NIOSH’s draft also contains safe-handling recommendations for 1-BP. More information on NIOSH’s document is available on the back page of the April 2016 Synergist.