Federal safety officials have issued a hazard alert related to a solvent that is frequently used in industrial applications. According to the Operational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, constant exposure to 1-Bromopropane has been linked to serious neurological disorders.
The chemical name for1-Bromopropane is n-propyl bromide, and it has a wide array of commercial uses.
OSHA says that use of the solvent has increased over the past two decades. Now, the chemical is often found in products used in dry cleaning, immersion and degreasing operations during the cleaning of metals, plastics and electronic components. Solvent sprays that contain 1-Bromopropane are also often used in aircraft maintenance, asphalt production and the manufacture of fibers.
Most of the exposure seems to occur by breathing in vapor or through skin absorption.
According to the alert, workplace exposure to the solvent can cause side effects, including irritation of the eyes, respiratory upper airways and skin. There may also be damage to the nervous system. Serious neurological effects can be seen in the form of frequent headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness and slurred speech.
Workers who are routinely exposed to this chemical may experience confusion, disorientation, and difficulty walking. They may have muscle twitching or spasms and numbness in the arms and legs. Worse, these effects can continue even after the exposure to 1-Bromopropane has ended.
Although the federal government does not currently have a specific exposure standard for the solvent, employers are required to keep workers safe from occupational illnesses related to this exposure.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned. Contact us so we can get to work on your behalf.