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Chemical Regulation

Common solvent, degreaser 1-bromopropane poses health risks

by Britt E. Erickson
August 23, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 33

 

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Once hailed as an alternative to chlorinated solvents and ozone-depleting substances, 1-bromopropane is now under scrutiny from the US Environmental Protection Agency for potential health risks to workers and consumers. In its latest draft assessment of the chemical, the EPA finds “there could be unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and by-standers under certain conditions of use.” 1-Bromopropane is a common degreaser and solvent used in dry cleaning, spray adhesives, automotive products, and other applications. In early 2016, the EPA found that 1-bromopropane poses a risk of developmental problems to children born to mothers exposed to the chemical during pregnancy. The agency also found that 1-bromopropane poses cancer and other health risks to workers repeatedly exposed to it. It is unclear what risk-management measures the EPA will suggest in its final assessment, which is due by the end of this year. A committee of external experts will review the draft during a Sept. 10–12 meeting. The EPA is accepting comments on the draft assessment until Oct. 11.

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