N-methyl pyrrolidone(N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)) harms the developing fetus
when tested in pregnant animals.It is toxic to the reproductive system of male
and female test animals. The reproductive
effects of N-methyl pyrrolidone(N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)) have not been studied in humans. Based on the animal tests, you should treat N-methyl pyrrolidone(N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)) as a potential human reproductive hazard. Overexposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) irritates the eyes,
skin, nose, and throat. It can also affect the central nervous system or brain causing symptoms of drunkenness similar to the effects of drinking alcohol. N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is easily absorbed through the skin. It is widely used to replace methylene chloride and other chlorinated solvents that harm the environment and health. HESIS revised this Health Hazard Advisory to inform workers and employers that Cal/OSHA has adopted a Permissible Exposure Limit for this substance.
Products and processes that use N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is a solvent (a liquid that dissolves solids).
It is used for many different purposes.
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is used in:
Painting (solvent), stripping or removing paint
Construction adhesives and solvents
Polymer materials manufacturing
Petrochemical solvents for extractions
Insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide products
How N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) enters your body
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) enters your body when it touches your skin,and when you breathe its vapors or droplets of spray in the air.Your risk of health effects depends on the amount of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) that enters your body. That depends mainly on the amount (the concentration) of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) youbreathe, how much touches your skin, and how long you are exposed to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP).
How N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) can affect your health The toxic effects of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) in humans have not been well studied. Most of the information comes from animal testing, not from human use of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP). Animal tests are often used to determine effects of chemicals on human health.
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) caused delayed growth in the offspring of animals exposed during pregnancy in several studies.N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) also reduced fertility in male rats and increased the time for female rats to become pregnant.The effects of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) on reproduction have notbeen studied in humans. In one report, a worker’s exposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) during the first trimester ofpregnancy was linked to abnormal growth of the fetus (intrauterine growth retardation) and stillbirth.
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP), like other organic solvents, can affect your brain. Breathing excessive amounts for a short period of time causes headache, nausea, dizziness,clumsiness, drowsiness, and other effects like those of being drunk. Drinking alcohol within a few hours of exposure increases these effects and makes them last longer, because the effects of alcohol
and solvents add together. The symptoms of shortterm exposure usually clear up within hours after exposure stops.Repeated, frequent overexposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) and other solvents over months or years can have long-lasting and possibly permanent effects on the nervous system. The symptoms of these long-term effects include fatigue, sleeplessness, poor coordination,difficulty in concentrating, loss of short-term memory, and personality changes such as depression,anxiety, and irritability. Eyes, Nose, Throat, and Skin
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat. It is quickly absorbed into your body through your skin.
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) also dissolves the natural protective oils on your skin and can cause dermatitis (dry, rough, red,or cracked skin).
Liver and kidneys
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is unlikely to cause liver or kidney damage if there is no noticeable effect on the nervous system.However, like other solvents, long-term exposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) and drinking alcohol can increase your risk of liver damage.
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) did not cause cancer when tested in animals.It also did not cause genetic mutations in several tests.
HOW to Reduce your Exposure
By law, employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace using ventilation and other controls, and work practices to minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals such as N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP).
Cal/OSHA and the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service can help you and your employer – see “Where to Get Help” on the last page. Here are some ways employers and employees can work together to reduce exposures.
Substitution. The best way to reduce exposure is to switch to products that do not contain N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP). Do not use products if you do not have safety data sheets (SDSs) and information
on health hazards. Make sure you understand the health hazard information.Switch to solvent-free products or use mechanical methods, such as wheat starch blasting, to remove paint and graffiti, when possible. If it is not possible to switch to solvent-free paint strippers, benzyl alcohol may be a safer substitute. Unlike N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP), benzyl alcohol does not
cause reproductive and developmental damage in test animals. It also does not pose risks of cancer like methylene chloride does. Benzyl alcohol is absorbed through the skin. It may also cause allergic dermatitis. Water-based cleaners often can be substituted for products containing N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) and other toxic solvents like 1-bromopropane,for cleaning in the electronics industry and other industries. If you cannot switch to products that are free of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) or other solvents, take other steps to limit exposure.
Using Less. Use as little as possible of solvent-containing products. Keep containers closed between uses.Ventilation. Make sure there is good ventilation. “Local exhaust ventilation” is most effective. It captures N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) vapors at the source before workers breathe them. In laboratories,fume hoods should be used. General ventilation using a fan-powered or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is the next best way to bring fresh air into the work area. Relying only on open doors and windows usually will not provide enough fresh air. Indoor fans that blow N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)-contaminated air around without removing it from the work area are not effective.
permits the use of respirators to control harmful exposures only if ventilation and other control methods are not effective or feasible. A halfface respirator with organic vapor cartridges can reduce exposure. In spraying operations, this should be combined with a mist pre-filter. A dust mask does not remove N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) vapors from the air and will not protect workers. Employers must comply with the Cal/OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (Title 8, Section 5144). Requirements include making sure that respirators fit properly and workers are medically cleared to wear a respirator.
Skin Protection. Wear chemical protective utility gloves such as butyl rubber or Silvershield® (laminated polyethylene/EVOH) when using products that contain N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP). N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) will go right through less durable gloves such as those made of natural rubber, nitrile, or polyethylene.
Replace gloves often. Use chemical protective clothing such as aprons, sleeves, boots, and head and face protection if N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) can contact your skin at areas other than your hands. Clean the equipment thoroughly after each use. Cal/OSHA regulations require employers to supply gloves and any other necessary protective equipment.
How to find out if you are working with N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)
Under California’s Hazard Communication Standard, (Title 8, Section 5194), your employer must tell you if any hazardous substances are used in your work area, must train you to use them safely, and must make Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) available.
If you think you may be exposed to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) on the job, ask to see the SDSs for the products you are using. The SDS for a product that contains N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) must identify it by the Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number 872-50-4. You will find a list of some products that contain N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) on page 5.
SDSs describe the hazards of the product and protective measures users should take. Some SDSs do not fully describe the hazards of the product or protective measures. For more information on the Hazard Communication Standard.
Legal exposure limits
Cal/OSHA has a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 1 part per million (ppm) in air workers breathe.This limit is an 8-hour, time-weighted average.This exposure limit also has a skin notation, “S”,indicating N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) may be easily absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin which contributes to the overall exposure. The Cal/OSHA PEL for workplace exposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) may be found in Title 8, section 5155, “Airborne Contaminants”
Measuring your exposure
The amount of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) in the air in your workplace can and should be measured. In fact, Cal/OSHA regulations require your employer to measure exposure when workers may be exposed to
concentrations of air contaminants in excess of the Permissible Exposure Limit.
Are there medical tests for exposure and health effects?
N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) and its major breakdown products,5-hydroxy-N- methyl-2-pyrrolidone (5-HN-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP)) and 2-hydroxy-N- methylsuccinimide (2-HMSI) have been measured in the urine and blood of exposed
workers and volunteers in several studies. The results compared well with air levels of N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP). The use of urine and blood tests for monitoring workplace exposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) is still being studied.
If you work regularly with N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP) or other hazardous substances, you should be given a complete physical exam, which includes a medical and work history, and periodic follow-up examinations.
Other regulations that help to protect workers
Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Every employer must have an effective, written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Major elements include: methods for identifying and quickly correcting workplace hazards; health and safety training; a health and safety communication system; and record-keeping.
Access to Medical and Exposure
Records. You have the right to see and copy your own medical records, and any records of toxic substance exposure monitoring in your work area.(Title 8, Section 3204). These records are important in determining whether your health has been affected by your work. Employers who have such records must keep them for at least 30 years after the end of your employment.
Do you use any of these products?
These are some products with safety data sheets (SDSs) showing that they contain N-methyl pyrrolidone(NMP). However,products like these can change their ingredients quite often. Be sure to check the current SDS for whatever products you are using.
Paint Strippers and Graffiti Removers.
9051 Bio-BlastBottom Paint Remover
CitristripStripping Gel and Stripping Aerosol
Fast Adhesive Gun Cleaner
Franmar’s Lead OutPaint Stripper
Kleen-AgainGun and Brush Cleaner
Ready-StripPlus Safer Paint &
Soy-GelOriginal, Spray, and Liquid
Soy Strip Marine
Hoegrass500 Selective Herbicide
Solvents, Cleaners, and Reagents.
K155 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone biotech grade
MX 1392 OmniSolv
PI 2525, 2555, 2574 Dry etch