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Safety

Cleaning solvent poses health risks, EPA says

by Britt E. Erickson
March 14, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 11

Use of 1-bromopropane in dry-cleaning solvents, spray adhesives, and degreasers poses a risk of developmental effects to children born to mothers who have been exposed, a draft assessment by EPA concludes. The chemical also poses cancer and other health risks to workers who are repeatedly exposed to it, EPA’s assessment finds. Also known as n-propyl bromide, the chemical is one of dozens that the agency is evaluating for possible restrictions under the Toxic Substances Control Act. EPA recommends that consumers reduce their exposure to 1-bromopropane by using products that contain the chemical outside or in well-ventilated areas and by wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as a respirator, to avoid inhalation. The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health has issued a draft document on minimizing worker exposure to 1-bromopropane. Also, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry has examined the hazards of the chemical from different exposure durations. All three assessments come to a similar conclusion regarding the health risks from the compound.

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