n Propyl Bromide Carcinogen: Dangers for Workers and Their Companies

The U.S. Department of Health’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) identifies nPB as a solvent that is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” — a finding based on laboratory experiments that expose mice to nBP and measure the results on the physiology of the animals.

Experiential data gathered from work environments where nPB is used shows that nPB can cause health risks in addition to potentially causing cancer, such as minor effects that consist of respiratory distress, blurred vision, and upset stomach, among others; and chronic health conditions, such as central nervous system damage, blurred vision, and vertigo.

When these effects occur, they do more than harm workers. They also precipitate various negative effects for that correlate with negative health outcomes in workers who are exposed to nPB. To prove the point, let’s look at some of the most common examples of how negative health outcomes for workers can cause negative financial situations for their employers.

1. Decreased Productivity

The minor side effects of nPB use may not be enough to keep workers from clocking out early for the day, but the continuance of the effects can lead to productivity lags, as ailments such as respiratory distress, blurred vision, and upset stomach compromise workers’ ability to focus on business-critical tasks. The goal of productivity is to best serve customers and, by extension, increase the bottomline — two tasks that are hard to achieve when workers become sick.

2. Increased Sick Days

Most dedicated workers try to muscle their way through minor ailments caused by nBP, but the effects can build in intensity day after day, until workers are practically forced to take sick days to break the nPB exposure cycle. N propyl bromide carcinogen status typically lacks a role in these temporary ailments, but they can have the same effect as carcinogenic ailments in terms of productivity: removing employees from the work floor for days at a time, until they experience better health.

3. Workers Comp Claims

If a worker receives a serious injury due to intermittent or chronic use of nPB — especially an injury from which they can’t recover quickly — they often file workers comp claims, if for no other reason than to receive paid medical treatment and a moderate level of income replacement that helps them weather the financial consequences of being out of work. The cost of paying workers comp claims ranges from minor to significant, depending on compensation factors.

4. Chemical Injury Suits

When workers contract chronic health conditions due to repeated nPB exposure, some of them decide to file chemical injury lawsuits that are both expensive to take to court and settle with a financial award. Chemical injury lawsuits that stem from n propyl bromide carcinogen exposure can be awarded millions of dollars, which can spell tragedy for a company’s annual bottom line.

Need a Replacement for nPB?

If so, Ecolink can provide a range of eco friendly solutions that are formulated to deliver the same efficacy — if not more — than hazardous, older solvents that they are designed to replace. Whether you need a stock solution that eliminates n propyl bromide carcinogen exposure or a custom solution that does the same but is tailored to your unique operating requirements, we’ll provide the assistance you need to identify and implement the best solution for your needs.

To get started on the nPB replacement process, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website. We looking forward to helping you protect your company and workers by helping to eliminate n propyl bromide carcinogen effects and similar threats.

nPB Degreasing Alternatives 101: Frequently Asked Questions

Also known as 1-Bromopropane and n-propyl bromide, nPB is a powerful chemical compound that excels at removing heavy accumulations of grease from various materials with noted efficacy. However, in recent years, the safety of the solvent has come under fire from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sister organizations due to the solvent’s toxic formulation that demonstrates carcinogenicity in experiments involving lab mice.

The information from mice studies has been extrapolated to propose that nPB is also a carcinogenic solvent to humans. If you’re considering implementing nPB as a general degreasing solvent, and you have some basic questions about the compound, the answers below can provide the information you need to guide you to nBP degreasing alternatives.

  1. If nPB solvent is carcinogenic to humans, why it is still used?

Currently, nPB is still used because the EPA hasn’t officially added the solvent to its list of banned chemicals. However, many regulatory agencies at the state and federal levels have instituted regulatory measures that pertain to how the solvent can be used. This essentially means that nPB users must use the solvent in a limited capacity in order to reduce health threats to workers, who use the solvent in a high volume on consistent basis.

  1. What health problems can large-scale nPB use pose to workers?

The health problems nPB causes workers range from relatively minor to profoundly severe. Minor health ailments that nPB causes include: dizziness, upset stomach, and respiratory distress. Severe health problems that NPB causes include: the potential to cause cancer, permanent damage to the central nervous system (CNS), and blurred vision that makes it dangerous for workers to use nPB and other business-critical cleaning solvents.

  1. How can continuing to use nPB degreasers impact my company?

Aside of regulatory requirements, the primary impact of using nPB degreasers pertains to how it affects workers. Employees consistently deploy nBP can lead to lack of productivity on the workfloor due to the minor effects of nPB exposure, which can in turn lead to an increased number sick days taken. Employees that experience chronic, irreversible health effects can lead to an increase of workers compensation claims, chemical injury lawsuits, lucrative court settlements for the lawsuits, and fines from regulatory agencies for overusing the solvent.

  1. Will the EPA add nPB to its list of banned and regulated chemicals?

Considering the deleterious effects nPB can have on the health outcome of workers, there’s a good chance that that nPB will eventually be added to the EPA’s list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). However, the EPA doesn’t suddenly add chemicals to the list. Rather, a chemical’s inclusion on the list is typically announced months in advance in order to give nPB users enough time to replace nPB with NPB degreasing alternatives that have a safer profile.

  1. What if nPB makes the EPA’s list, and I still have a large quantity of it?

This situation usually happens to companies and organizations that remain in the dark about the need to replace nPB with safer nPB degreasing alternatives. If for some reason you still have a stock supply of nPB after its use has been curtailed by official, governmental decrees, you may still be able to use the solvent — albeit in limited quantities — until the supply is depleted. For this to happen, the use of nPB must be regulated instead of being banned outright.

  1. What are examples of nPB degreasing alternatives for replacing nPB?

Thanks to the recent advancement of environmentally safe and environmentally prefered solvents, there’s a wide range of nPB degreasing alternatives that deliver the same efficacy as nPB, but lack toxic chemicals that can have a major, negative impact on the health of workers who apply the solvent. For reference, one of the easiest ways to identify nPB degreasing alternatives is to use Ecolink’s product list that offers several, safer degreasing agents.

Need nPB Degreasing Alternatives?

The future of nPB use is bleak, as there is a good chance that the EPA will eventually add the solvent to is list of HAPs. This means now is the time to start identifying safer industrial degreasers that exhibit same or better efficacy as NPB degreasers. Ecolink can assist you with identifying and supplying eco friendly degreasers, providing stock degreasers or custom blends that are tailored to address your unique set of degreasing requirements.

To place an order, or to receive help choosing the right nPB replacement for your degreasing needs, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you choose the right product regarding worker safety and regulatory requirements.


Replacing an nPB Vapor Degreaser: Commonly Asked Questions

nPB — also known as n-propyl bromide and 1-bromopropane — is not the preferred degreasing solution it once was. Fueling the changeover from nPB vapor degreaser to vapor degreasers that have a better safety profile is evidence that nPB exposure can seriously, adversely affect the health of those who use it. If you use an nPB vapor degreaser, and you have questions about replacing the toxic solvent, the answers below can help.

Why is nPB exposure now considered so dangerous?

Like other toxic degreasing solvents, nPB’s toxicity is established by several years of scientific research. Based on the research, the EPA added nPB to “the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990.”

Does the EPA consider nPB to be a hazardous air pollutant?

As of the date of this blog entry, the EPA has not placed nPB on the official list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). However, as quoted above, nPB is a reportable chemical under the EPCRA, with the EPA having determined that “1-bromopropane meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria because it can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans.”

What are specific health problems that nPB causes?

Health issues from nPB exposure are generally categorized in one of two ways: acute or chronic. Common acute health issues are: dizziness, mental confusion, respiratory distress and temporary paresthesia. Common chronic health issues are: neurological damage, cancer (based on animal studies), permanent paresthesia, and difficulty walking (due to paresthesia).

Will a safer solvent offer the same degreasing power?

The answer depends on which solvent you choose as a replacement for nPB. With that said, there’s a nice selection of safer, environmentally preferred vapor degreasers that offer the same efficacy as nPB. In many cases, former nPB users can simply “drop in” these nPB replacements, and quickly carry on with the vapor degreasing progress, as usual.

Will a safe replacement for nPB cost more than nPB?

Because nPB is relatively cheap to produce, there’s a good chance you’ll pay a bit more for a safe replacement. However, when you consider the financial toll nPB can take on an entity (increased sick days taken, workers compensation claims, chemical injury lawsuits, etc.), paying for a safe nPB vapor degreaser replacement can be the most cost effective option long-term.

Where can I find an nPB vapor degreaser replacement?

Shop-hereWe recommend that you get your replacement from Ecolink for three main reasons. First, in addition to supplying readymade solutions, we accept custom orders. Second, we offer free samples for you to test before you buy. Third, we deal primarily in environmentally preferred and environmentally safe cleaners, making us a great option for your solvent needs going forward.

To inquire about our vapor degreasing solutions, or to place an order, please call us today at (800) 563-1305. You can also shop conveniently online. We look forward to providing you with a safe nPB vapor degreaser replacement.



1 Bromopropane(nPB) listed as higher hazard substance in Massachusetts. Is this the beginning of the end for nPB?

Cleaner world with 1 Bromopropane/N Propyl Bromide ReplacementIndustrial solvents containing n-propyl bromide (nPB), or 1 bromopropane as it’s also known, are affordable and effective solvent degreasers that have served as a reliable replacement to TCE (Trichloroethylene) for decades now. However, like TCE before it, 1 bromopropane has become known to the public as a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin. Studies have found that nPB has both acute and chronic toxicity caused by solvent vapor exposure from inhalation and through skin absorption. Worker safety is a key factor here as nPB is a popular solvent for both cold cleaning and vapor degreasing.

How is nPB Being Managed Today?

Given that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection updated the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) and added n-propyl bromide to their list of toxic chemicals; this is a reasonable indicator that 1-bromopropane will likely become restricted or limited by the EPA in the near future. If you are under such restrictions or if you simply want to provide a safer working environment, we have a line of products ready to serve as drop-in replacements.

Finding a 1 Bromopropane Alternative that is Right for You

Many nPB alternatives offer the same if not better cleaning power as the nPB solvents they replace. These products are drop-in replacements because they can be swapped with the current nPB cleaners as a safer solution and it will not slow your cleaning process. Ecolink is a licensed distributor of FluoSolv AP® which is an excellent replacement for nPB based solvents. FluoSolv® AP (All Purpose) is non-hazardous and has a high allowable exposure limit. The Fluosolv® line has products that excel in both modern vapor degreasing equipment or spray and wipe aerosol application. To see how Fluosolv products stack up to TCE, nPB and MEK, Click Here.


Not Ready to Move on from 1 Bromopropane? Hypersolve has you Covered

Let’s face it, for many users of nPB based products, there may be little incentive to switch to a new, potentially more expensive, replacement material. 1 bromopropane based solvents simply do a great job cleaning in the following applications:

  • Adhesive and sealant removal
  • Asphalt Extractions (Bituminous Asphalt)
  • Automotive parts cleaning
  • Carbon soil removal
  • Cleaner/degreaser
  • Drying agent
  • Metal cleaning, hydraulic parts, wheels and brakes
  • Non-destructive Inspection
  • Precision cleaning
  • Printed wiring board cleaning
  • Surface wipe cleaning

Given adequate ventilation and ensuring safety precautions, you could very well continue using nPB based products in your operations with minimal risk. If this is the case, Ecolink offers Hypersolve™ based on stabilized n-propyl bromide. We can and will continue to supply Hypersolve until the day you look to switch to an EPA/OSHA friendly solvent.

Whether using 1 Bromopropane products or not, learn from the concept of Zero Waste. Zero Waste is an effective hazard reduction practice that can be applied to the use of nPB or any potentially harmful solvent.

What is Zero Waste?

The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council has the goal of teaching zero waste practices to businesses and communities to help them become more healthy and sustainable. Through Zero Waste, businesses can cut greenhouse gases, reduce litter and pollution, and reinvest resources locally. Zero Waste Businesses save money, become more efficient, and manage risks. All of these benefits will help create jobs and more value for the businesses and the communities. If you want to be a part of this movement and grow from these opportunities then apply for Zero Waste certification here.

One of the ways you can help your business contribute to Zero Waste is through solvent distillation. Ecolink proudly partners with CBG Technologies to promote their solvent distillation equipment which continually helps customers save money on recoverable solvent as well as reduce waste output.

Call for information or a quote on any of our nPB alternative products at (800) 563-1305 or send an email inquiry to npbreplacement@ecolink.com

You might also be interested to see our aerosol cylinders. Check out the video below for a demonstration:

Replacing nPB Vapor Degreaser: Why Do It Now?

nPB (a.k.a. n-propyl bromide and 1-bromopropane) has a great history of success as a vapor degreasing solvent and — at the same time — a rather bleak future. This is because the solvent is dangerous to the short-term and long-term health of workers who use it, and, by extension, because use the solvent is in the process of being regulated regarding usage volume. If you use an nPB vapor degreaser, there are four good reasons to replace it with a safer solution now.

  1. Temporary Illness

Scientific studies and anecdotal reports show that exposure to NPB vapor degreaser and nPB in other formulations can cause temporary, negative health effects in workers, including: dizziness, mental confusion, slurred speech, paresthesia, visual disturbances and respiratory distress, among several other acute conditions. Some of these conditions can result from a single exposure to nPB vapor degreaser, though they generally abate when exposure ceases.

  1. Chronic Illness

Scientific studies and anecdotal reports have also shown the potential of nPB to cause negative health conditions that are chronic, including: neurological damage, cancer (based on animal studies), permanent Paresthesia and difficulty walking (due to paresthesia). Because these conditions can permanently decrease the earning capacity of the injured, or make them completely disabled, chemical injury lawsuits are a common method of recourse.

  1. Regulatory Control

As reported in late 2015 in The Federal Register: The Daily Journal of the United States Government, “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding 1-bromopropane to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990.”

The article goes on to explain the decision, citing that “1-Bromopropane has been classified by the National Toxicology Program in their 13th Report on Carcinogens as ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.’” Consequently, “The EPA has determined that 1-bromopropane meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria because it can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans.”

If history is a guide, nPB will eventually find a place on the EPA’s list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), which means it will be banned or regulated to the point that many users of nPB vapor degreaser will be unable to use the solution in sufficient quantities for crucial nPB applications.

  1. Financial Fallout

Even among organizations that aren’t concerned about the regulation of nPB, replacing an nPB degreaser is still a common move. The reasons why are simple. Negative health effects of nPB exposure can reduce productivity in the workplace, lead to workers compensation claims, and, as mentioned above, lead to chemical injury lawsuits. When it come to financial profitability, using nPB vapor degreaser for business-critical operations is a double-edged sword.

Choosing a Replacement
If your organization doesn’t specialize in evaluating industrial solvents, you may need some assistance with choosing a nPB vapor degreaser replacement that’s safer than its predecessor but works just as well. This is the type of replacement Ecolink can provide. To get started on finding a drop-in replacement for your nPB degreaser, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website.