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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 Emergency Response Guidebook: 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):
  • 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
  • Notes:
    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): 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):
  • 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
  • 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 (PDF))
  • method classification: Fully Validated
Wipe Sampling Method:
  • Wipe with charcoal pad, seal in glass vial for shipment

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