Important News Regarding nPB
nPB (also known as 1-bromopropane) was introduced in the mid-1990’s as a less toxic replacement for methylene chloride and for ozone-depleting substances in emissive applications such as vapor and immersion degreasing operations and in critical cleaning of electronics and metals. A number of studies in recent years have raised serious safety concerns regarding the use of nPB in these emissive applications.
Regulatory concerns for nPB
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) listed n-propyl bromide (nPB) as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) in December 2012. This means it could be banned or have limitations placed on its’ use under the European Union’s REACH (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals) legislation.
National Toxicology Program (NTP) concludes "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity"
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently issued a report concluding that there was "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity" in female mice and rats (NTP TR564, August 2011). This report also references a study by the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) . The overall NTP conclusion was that "there is serious concern for reproductive and developmental effects of 1-bromopropane at the upper end of the human occupational exposure range (18-381ppm)." "Serious concern" is the highest level of NTP conclusion regarding the possibilities that human development and reproduction might be adversely affected.
Agencies propose lower exposure guidelines for nPB
Agencies concerned with worker safety have either updated exposure guidelines or have proposed lower exposure guidelines for nPB. Cal/OSHA has set an 8 hour worker permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 ppm. Other agencies have proposed lower exposure guidelines for nPB – some as low as 0.1 ppm. These levels are virtually impossible to meet in typical vapor degreasing operations.
Alternatives are available.
How can you help ensure the safety of your workers while maintaining the long-term sustainability and profitability of your business? You turn to a company with a deep history of innovation in chemical science - 3M. 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids offer a far wider margin of safety than nPB and most other regulated solvent replacements. As sustainable, high performing alternatives to nPB - 3M offers a broad portfolio of Novec fluids designed to meet a variety of precision cleaning needs – from cleaning light oils and particulates in sensitive electronic components to cleaning greases, oils and buffing compounds from precision manufactured metal parts.
Why switch to 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids? Read our Technical Bulletin and Learn More.