Also known as: Propylene dichloride, Dichloropropane
Chemical reference number (CAS): 78-87-5
What is 1,2-Dichloropropane?
1,2-Dichloropropane (dichloropropane) is a colorless, flammable solvent that evaporates
quickly at room temperature. Its used as degreaser and dry cleaning fluid.
Previously it was used as an insecticide. Dichloropropane is not found in household
Dichloropropane is flammable. Keep the liquid and its vapors away from sparks and open
When dichloropropane enters the environment, it can seep into the groundwater or
evaporate into the air.
How are people exposed to 1,2-Dichloropropane?
Breathing: People can be exposed to dichloropropane when they breathe
contaminated air. Workplace exposure typically occurs from contaminated air. If people
have contaminated drinking water, they may also be exposed when they use the water to
bathe, launder, or prepare food.
Drinking/Eating: This chemical can enter the body when people drink
contaminated water. Garden plants grown in contaminated soil do not take up
Touching: Dichloropropane can pass through the skin when people touch
the chemical itself or contaminated soil or water.
Do standards exist for regulating 1,2-Dicholoropropane?
Water: The state and federal drinking water standards for
dichloropropane are both set at 5 parts per billion (ppb). We recommend you stop drinking
water containing more than 5 ppb of dichloropropane. If the level of dichloropropane is
higher than 60 ppb in your water, you should avoid washing, bathing, or using the water
for other purposes. Contact your local public health agency for more information specific
to your situation.
Air: No standards exist for the amount of dichloropropane allowed in
the air of homes. We use a formula to convert workplace limits to home limits. Based on
the formula, we recommend levels of dichloropropane in air be no higher than 1.5 parts per
million (ppm). Most people can smell dichloropropane when the level reaches 0.25 ppm.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulates the amount of dichloropropane
that can be released by industries.
Will exposure to 1,2-Dichloropropane result in harmful health
The following symptoms may occur immediately or shortly after exposure to high levels
of dichloropropane in air:
- Irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose; and
- Headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
The following health effects can occur after several years of exposure to dichloropropane:
Cancer: Experiments on animals show liver tumors following exposure to
dichloropropane. Based on this information, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
classified dichloropropane as a probable human carcinogen.
Reproductive Effects: Animal experiments show exposure to this
compound affects the testes and decreases male fertility.
Organ Systems: Liver, kidney, and brain damage can result from
repeated, high level exposure.
In general, chemicals affect the same organ systems in all people who are exposed.
However, the seriousness of the effects may vary from person to person. A person's
reaction depends on several things, including individual health, heredity, previous
exposure to chemicals including medicines, and personal habits such as smoking or
It is also important to consider the length of exposure to the chemical; the amount of
chemical exposure; and whether the chemical was inhaled, touched, or eaten.
Can a medical test determine exposure to 1,2-Dichloropropane?
For those individuals with frequent or potentially high level exposures, the following
medical tests may be appropriate:
- Liver and kidney function tests,
- Neurological examinations, and
- Evaluation of male fertility status.
Any evaluation should include a careful history of past and present symptoms.
Seek medical advice if you have any symptoms that you think may be related to
(P-44599 Revised 3/2000)
This fact sheet summarizes information about this chemical and is not a complete
listing of all possible effects. It does not refer to work exposure or emergency
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