Over the past 20 years, nPB (a.k.a. n-propyl bromide and 1-bromopropane) has become a go-to solvent in numerous industries, from dry cleaning, to furniture construction, to asphalt production. During roughly the same time period, OSHA and the EPA have steadily studied the health dangers of the solvent based on scientific investigation.
What emerges is a portrait of an nPB vapor degreaser that can produce both acute and long-term negative health effects in those who use it. These effects are the primary reason why many organizations move to replace an nPB vapor degreaser with one that has a safer profile.
Acute Health Effects of nPB Exposure
The most talked health effects of nPB exposure are chronic effects, as these represent the greatest threat to the health of the user. But short-term use of nPB can also produce negative health effects, which are acute in nature, particularly:
- Mental confusion
- Slurred speech
- Temporary paresthesia
- Visual disturbances
- Respiratory distress
The effects often cease when exposure to nPB ceases, although studies have shown it can take some workers over one year to fully recover. In such cases, exposure has typically occurred over the course of weeks or months and not during a one-time use of the solvent. However, even a single exposure to nPB can be enough to take a worker off of the work floor for a day. By harming workers’ health, nPB can hurt their company’s productivity.
Long-Term Health Effects of nPB Exposure
Workers who are exposed to nPB vapor degreaser over the course of many months or years can develop long-term, negative health effects that result in permanent disability. Four of the most noted chronic health conditions that are caused by consistent nPB exposure are:
- Neurological damage
- Cancer (based on animal studies)
- Permanent Paresthesia
- Difficulty walking (due to paresthesia)
Over the years, chronic conditions such as these have formed the backbone of numerous chemical injury lawsuits that workers pursue against their employers on the basis on nPB exposure. As with acute health effects of nPB vapor degreaser exposure, long-term effects don’t just harm workers. They can have a profound, negative impact on a company’s bottom line.
Replacement is the Optimal Solution
There are several ways to reduce exposure to nPB vapor degreaser, such as using a special air filtration system in the environment where nPB is used, outfitting workers with a high level of personal protective equipment (PPE), and using a vapor degreasing system that produces to no emissions in the work environment. However, the most cost effective, hassle-free option for eliminating health threats of nPB is to replace the solvent with a safer one.
This is what Ecolink can help you do. We offer a broad selection degreasing solvents that are safer than many of their predecessors, yet still deliver the same efficacy. To get started on receiving an nPB vapor degreaser drop-in solution, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or contact us here on our website. We look forward to helping you protect your workers’ health.