The Dangers of 1-bromopropane for Human Health

1-bromopropane (a.k.a. n-propyl bromide) is high-strength cleaning solvent that plays a crucial role in the performance of numerous work processes, particularly: synthetic fiber manufacturing, vapor and immersion degreasing for metal, electronics manufacturing, dry cleaning, production of pharmaceuticals, and creating adhesives for laminates and foam.

However, despite the solvent’s effectiveness for these applications and others, it is highly ineffective when it comes to doing what you can to ensure the good health of your workforce. If your organization currently uses 1-bromopropane in any capacity, you should know about the dangers of 1-bromopropane for human health concerning short-term and long-term effects.

Short-term Health Effects
The dangers of 1-bromopropane for human health are often discussed in terms of chronic conditions that result from long-term exposure to the solvent. However, you are likely to see some distressing, short-term health effects in your workforce before workers display long-term health effects that result chronic exposure to the toxic agent. Common short-term health effects include:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Loss of consciousness

At best, these conditions lead to an increase in sick days and lower productivity in the environment where 1-bromopropane is used. At worst, they can lead to permanent disability and reduced earning capacity, as defined by state and federal law. However, these outcomes are generally associated with exposure to 1-bromopropane over the course of months or years.

Long-term Health Effects
As mentioned above, the dangers of 1-bromopropane for human health also extend to long-term health effects, most notably cancer. The association with cancer is primarily why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently ruled that 1-bromopropane be added to the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals. In addition to cancer, long-term health effects from 1-bromopropane exposure include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of feeling in arms and legs
  • Slurred speech

When they are experienced on chronic basis, these conditions generally result from permanent damage to the central nervous system (CNS). When exposure to 1-bromopropane leads to permanent, negative health outcomes, an employer can pay dearly in the form of satisfying workers compensation claims, settling legal liability lawsuits, and training new workers to replace employees who experience permanent disability due to 1-bromopropane exposure.

Selecting a Replacement
Despite the dangers of 1-bromopropane for human health, the solvent nonetheless plays an important role in work processes of many types of organizations, from synthetic fiber manufacturers to laminate manufacturers who use the toxic solution to form adhesive. Consequently, it’s important to replace the solvent with a solution that has a better safety profile and delivers the same efficacy of the 1-bromopropane product that it replaces.

This is where Ecolink enters the picture. We can supply you with alternatives to 1-bromopropane that are safer for humans but deliver the same effectiveness of 1-bromopropane for your crucial work processes. To get started on implementing a replacement, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or fill out the contact form on our website.

We look forward to helping making the work environment a safer place for your workers.