Final Risk Evaluation for 1-Bromopropane Published by EPA

On August 11, 2020, a final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane was published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this blog post, we discuss this evaluation and several of the key findings associated with it.

About 1-Bromopropane

Also known as n-propyl bromide, 1-bromopropane is a volatile organic compound with strong solvent properties. Used in numerous industries, it has a diverse range of applications, including in aircraft maintenance, dry cleaning, synthetic fiber development, and more.

While the principal exposure route for 1-bromopropane is via inhalation, exposure via the skin (dermal exposure) is also possible. Effects of exposure to the chemical can range from relatively minor (e.g., irritation of mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and upper airway) to more serious ones (including arthralgia, ataxia, confusion, dizziness, dystharia, headaches, and other potential nervous system effects and damage). A number of animal studies have also shown that 1-bromopropane exposure may cause cancer.

Key Findings

The EPA's final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane yielded several key findings, based on an assessment of 25 conditions of use.

  • For any condition of use, no unreasonable risks to the environment were found
  • For many conditions of use (16 of the 25), unreasonable risks to human health were found
    • Unreasonable risks were found for almost all consumer uses of 1-bromopropane (with the exception of insulation off-gassing)
    • Unreasonable risks were found for most commercial uses of 1-bromopropane (both for workers and occupational non-users)

Chemicals Requiring Risk Evaluation

Of the first group of ten chemical substances requiring risk evaluation under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), 1-bromopropane is the second for which a final evaluation has been issued. The EPA has set a goal for the completion of the eight remaining risk evaluations by the end of this year.

Access to Vital Information

Information obtained from the risk evaluation of chemicals is critical in efforts to help protect human and environmental health. Equally important is having a deep understanding of chemical substances, their properties, and their varied uses.

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