1-Bromopropane

September 30, 2019
I’m probably not any safer than my industrial predecessor.
What molecule am I?

1-Bromopropane is a simple bromoalkane frequently used as an industrial solvent and degreasing agent. It is prepared commercially via the free-radical anti-Markovnikov hydrobromination of propylene.

Since 2000, 1-bromopropane has increasingly replaced toxic, ozone-depleting chlorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons as dry-cleaning solvents. But using this brominated hydrocarbon presents many hazards (see hazard information table).

The US Environmental Protection Agency recently began to evaluate the health hazards of 1-bromopropane to workers. In its draft assessment, the agency reported that the solvent could pose “unreasonable risks to workers, occupational nonusers, consumers, and bystanders under certain conditions of use.” EPA is accepting comments on the draft until October 11.

1-Bromopropane hazard information

GHS classification*: flammable liquids, category 2
H225—Highly flammable liquid and vapor Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: skin corrosion/irritation, category 2
H315—Causes skin irritation Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: serious eye damage/eye irritation, category 2B
H319—Causes eye irritation Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; respiratory tract irritation, category 3
H335—May cause respiratory irritation Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; narcotic effects, category 3
H336—May cause drowsiness or dizziness Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: carcinogenicity, category 2
H351—Suspected of causing cancer Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: reproductive toxicity, category 1B
H360—May damage fertility or the unborn child Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, repeated exposure; lungs, liver, central nervous system, category 2
H373—Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: hazardous to the aquatic environment, long-term hazard, category 3
H412—Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects Chemical Safety Warning

*Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Explanation of pictograms.

1-Bromopropane fast facts

CAS Reg. No. 106-94-5
Empirical formula C3H7Br
Molar mass 122.99 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Boiling point 71 ºC
Water solubility 2.5 g/L

MOTW update

Isosorbide was the Molecule of the Week for November 22, 2010. It is a sugar dehydration product that has been examined as a safe replacement for bisphenol A in plastics manufacture. At the recent ACS National Meeting in San Diego, Florence Popowycz of the University of Lyon (France) gave a paper based on her 2018 article “Diastereoselective iridium-catalyzed amination of biosourced isohexides through borrowing hydrogen methodology” Popowycz’s process uses corn-derived isosorbide as one of the substrates.

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