Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver, kidneys, cardiovascular system
Most cases of facial flushing occur after ingestion of alcoholic beverages and may be due to elevated acetaldehyde levels from ethanol metabolism.
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.
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.
Significant occupational exposure can occur via absorption through the skin.
Reduced sperm motility has been reported in workers exposed dermally to dimethylformamide in a synthetic leather factory.
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.
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.
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.
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