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Bromoform

General Description

  • Synonyms: Methyl tribromide; Tribromomethane
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0400
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-25-2
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: PB5600000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2515 159
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Bromoform: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2008): 0.5 ppm (5.2 mg/m3) TWA; A3
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.5 ppm (5.2 mg/m3) TWA; Skin

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 850 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Eye, skin, respiratory system irritation; CNS depression; liver, kidney damage; reddening of the face; salivation; disturbance of movements; cough, labored breathing; headache, dizziness, convulsions, loss of memory, unconsciousness; shock
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eye Nose, Throat---Marked (HE14); Cumulative liver and kidney damage (HE3); Narcosis (HE8)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, respiratory system, CNS
  • Notes:
    1. The odor threshold for bromoform (1.3 ppm) is greater than its PEL.
    2. CNS depressant effects of bromoform may be due to a potentiation of the activity of GABA(A) receptors.
    3. Bromoform is more permeable through human skin in vitro than is chloroform.
    4. EPA's reference dose (RfD) for oral exposure to bromoform is 0.02 mg/kg/day.
    5. Although bromoform can be metabolized to carbon monoxide, breath analysis of parent compound has been recommended as a biological index of occupational exposure to the trihalomethanes.
    6. In the early 1900s, bromoform was used as a sleeping aid for children with whooping cough.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Bromoform.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Bromoform.
    • EPA Air Toxics Website: Bromoform. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
    • Fantuzzi, G., Righi, E., Predieri, G., Ceppelli, G., Gobba, F. and Aggassotti, G.: Occupational exposure to trihalomethanes in indoor swimming pools. Sci. Total Environ. 264(3): 257-265, 2001.
    • Kash, T.L., Jenkins, A. and Harrison, N.L.: Molecular volume determines the activity of the halogenated alkane bromoform at wild-type and mutant GABA(A) receptors. Brain Res. 960(1-2): 36-41, 2003.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Bromoform. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 377-379.
    • Anders, M.W., Stevens, J.L., Sprague, R.W., Shaath, Z. and Ahmed, A.E.: Metabolism of haloforms to carbon monoxide. II. In vivo studies. Drug Metab. Dispos. 6(5): 556-560, 1978.
    • Xu, X., Mariano, T.M., Laskin, J.D. and Weisel, C.P.: Percutaneous absorption of trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and haloketones. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 184(1): 19-26, 2002.
  • Date Last Revised: 06/03/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
  • analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
  • maximum volume: 10 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 1003)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
Wipe Sampling Method:
  • Wipe with charcoal pad, seal in glass vial for shipment.

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