September 30, 2019
I’m probably not any safer than my industrial predecessor.
What molecule am I?
Image of 1-Bromopropane 3D Image of 1-Bromopropane

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 vaporChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: skin corrosion/irritation, category 2
H315—Causes skin irritationChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: serious eye damage/eye irritation, category 2B
H319—Causes eye irritationChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; respiratory tract irritation, category 3
H335—May cause respiratory irritationChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; narcotic effects, category 3
H336—May cause drowsiness or dizzinessChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: carcinogenicity, category 2
H351—Suspected of causing cancerChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: reproductive toxicity, category 1B
H360—May damage fertility or the unborn childChemical 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 exposureChemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: hazardous to the aquatic environment, long-term hazard, category 3
H412—Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effectsChemical Safety Warning

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

MOTW update: September 30, 2019

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.

1-Bromopropane fast facts

CAS Reg. No.106-94-5
Empirical formulaC3H7Br
Molar mass122.99 g/mol
AppearanceColorless liquid
Boiling point71 ºC
Water solubility2.5 g/L

MOTW update: 
July 06, 2020

1-Bromopropane is the Molecule of the Week for September 30, 2019. The hazards associated with this valuable industrial solvent and degreasing agent were reviewed in 2019 by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The agency reported that it could pose “unreasonable risks to workers, occupational nonusers, consumers, and bystanders under certain conditions of use.” In June 2020, EPA added 1-bromopropane to its list of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act—the first chemical added since the act was amended in 1990.

MOTW update:
November 18, 2019

Former Molecules of the Week 1,4-dioxane, hexabromocyclododecane, 1-bromopropane, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, and dichloromethane, among several other chemicals, are at the center of a controversy about how the EPA’s scientific advisory committees are evaluating risks of air pollution. The problems are the lack of expertise in some of the committees and a shortage of adquate data to evaluate the chemicals. Industrial and environmental stakeholders are critical of the latest risk assessments.

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