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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: DMF; DMFA; N,N-Dimethylformamide; Composite Constituent; Dimethyl formamide

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0930

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 68-12-2

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: LQ2100000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 2265 129

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Dimethylformamide: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1 - 10 ppm, 30 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A - 10 ppm, 30 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards - 10 ppm, 30 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 10 ppm, 30 mg/m3 TWA; Skin; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen; BEI

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 10 ppm, 30 mg/m3 TWA; Skin

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 500 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory system; nausea, vomiting, colic; liver damage, hepatomegaly; high blood pressure; facial flushing; dermatitis. In animals: kidney, heart damage

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes---Marked (HE14); Cumulative liver damage (HE3); CNS effects (HE7); Mutagen (HE2)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, kidneys, cardiovascular system


  1. Most cases of facial flushing occur after ingestion of alcoholic beverages and may be due to elevated acetaldehyde levels from ethanol metabolism.
  2. Metabolized by cytochrome P450 2E1 to N-hydroxymethyl-N-methylformamide, which loses formaldehyde to form the measurable urinary metabolite, N-methylformamide (NMF). This is further metabolized by CYP2E1 to an intermediate that reacts with glutathione and is eventually excreted as N-acetyl-S-(N-methylcarbamoyl)-L-cysteine (AMCC). Both NMF and AMCC are urinary markers for exposure.
  3. Another marker for exposure to DMF is N-methylcarbamoylated hemoglobin in blood, which is thought to be due to reaction of the metabolite methylisocyanate with the N-terminal amino acid in globin, valine. A concentration of 135 nmol of adduct per gram of globin has been estimated to occur after repeated inhalation exposure to 10 ppm dimethylformamide.
  4. Significant occupational exposure can occur via absorption through the skin.
  5. Reduced sperm motility has been reported in workers exposed dermally to dimethylformamide in a synthetic leather factory.
  6. EPA's provisional oral reference dose (daily oral exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime) for dimethylformamide is 0.1 mg/kg/day, and its reference concentration (RfC) is 0.03 mg/m3.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Dimethylformamide.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): N,N-Dimethylformamide.
  • EPA Air Toxics Website: N,N-Dimethylformamide. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
  • Angerer, J., Göen, T., Krämer, A. and Käfferlein, H.U.: N-methylcarbamoyl adducts at the N-terminal valine of globin in workers exposed to N,N-dimethylformamide. Arch. Toxicol. 72(5): 309-313, 1998.
  • Chang, H.-Y., Shih, T.-S., Guo, Y.-L., Tsai, C.-Y. and Hsu, P.-C.: Sperm function in workers exposed to N,N-dimethylformamide in the synthetic leather industry. Fertil. Steril. 81(6): 1589-1594, 2004.
  • Chang, H.-Y., Tsai, C.-Y., Lin, Y.-Q., Shih, T.-S., and Lin, W.-C.: Total body burden arising from a week's repeated dermal exposure to N,N-dimethylformamide. Occup. Environ. Med. 62(3): 151-156, 2005.
  • Cox, N.H. and Mustchin, C.P.: Prolonged spontaneous and alcohol-induced flushing due to the solvent dimethylformamide. Contact Dermatitis 24(1): 69-70, 1991.
  • Dimethylformamide. IARC Monogr. Eval. Carcinog. Risks Hum. 71(Pt. 2) [381 KB PDF, 171 pages]: 545-574, 1999.
  • Käfferlein, H.U., et al.: The use of biomarkers of exposure of N,N-dimethylformamide in health risk assessment and occupational hygiene in the polyacrylic fibre industry. Occup. Environ. Med. 62(5): 330-336, 2005.
  • Mráz, J., Dušková, Š., Gálová, E., Nohová, H. and Brabec, M.: Biological monitoring of N,N-dimethylformamide. Reference value for N-methylcarbamoyl adduct at the N-terminal valine as a biomarker of chronic occupational exposure. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 75(Suppl.): S93-96, 2002.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): N,N-Dimethylformamide. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 926-928.

Date Last Revised: 08/09/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (100/50 mg sections; 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Acetone
    maximum volume: 10 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.2 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/NPD
    alternate analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 66)
    method classification: Fully Validated

  • sampling media: Silica Gel Tube (150/75 mg sections; 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Methanol
    alternate solvent: Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)
    maximum volume: 80 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: NIOSH Analytical Method (NIOSH 2004 [26 KB PDF, 5 pages])
    method classification: Fully Validated

Wipe Sampling Method:

  • sampling media: Wipe with charcoal pad, seal in glass vial for shipment

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