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N-Nitrosodimethylamine

General Description

  • Synonyms: NDMA; DMNA; DMN; Dimethylnitrosamine; N,N-Dimethyl- nitrosamine; N-Methyl-N-nitrosomethanamine; N-Nitroso-N,N-dimethylamine
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1942
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 62-75-9
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: IQ0525000
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, N-Nitrosodimethylamine: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory tract; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps; headache; sore throat, cough; weakness; fever; enlarged liver, jaundice; decreased liver, kidney, and pulmonary function; low platelet count; [potential occupational carcinogen]
  • Health Effects: Cancer (HE1); Liver cirrhosis (HE3); Suspect teratogen (HE5)
  • Affected Organs: Liver, kidneys, lungs
  • Notes:
    1. N-Nitrosodimethylamine is an OSHA Regulated Carcinogen without a PEL (29 CFR 1910.1003).
    2. It undergoes activation by cytochrome P450 2E1 to reactive metabolites that result in the chemical modification of DNA and consequent apoptotic cell death.
    3. The main chemical modification of DNA involves the methylation of guanine residues to form N7-methylguanine (major adduct) and O6-methylguanine, which are thought to be involved in the mutagenicity of N-nitrosodimethylamine.
    4. In addition to worker exposure in the rubber industry and wide exposure to users of tobacco products, recent research has focused on the formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine during water disinfection using chlorination or chloramination processes.
    5. In April 1998, the California Department of Health Services established an "action level" (now termed notification level) for N-nitrosodimethylamine of 10 nanograms per liter of drinking water.
    6. Biological monitoring of worker exposure may be facilitated by the recent development of a sensitive ELISA assay for DNA adducts in peripheral blood lymphocytes.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: N-Nitrosodimethylamine.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): N-Nitrosodimethylamine.
    • EPA Air Toxics Website: N-Nitrosodimethylamine. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
    • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): Toxicological Profile for N-nitrosodimethylamine. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1989.
    • California Department of Health Services: NDMA and Other Nitrosamines - Drinking Water Issues.
    • Choi, J. and Valentine, R.L.: Formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from reaction of monochloramine: a new disinfection by-product. Water Res. 36(4): 817,824, 2002.
    • Lin, H.L., Parsels, L.A., Maybaum, J. and Hollenberg, P.F.: N-Nitrosodimethylamine-mediated cytotoxicity in a cell line expressing P450 2E1: evidence for apoptic cell death. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 157(2): 117-124, 1999.
    • Mitch, W.A., Gerecke, A.C. and Sedlak, D.L.: A N-nitrosodimethylamine precursor analysis for chlorination of water and wastewater. Water Res. 37(15): 3733-3741, 2003.
    • Niot-Mansart, V., Muhamedi, A. and Arnould, J.P.: A competitive ELISA detecting 7-methylguanosine adduct induced by N-nitrosodimethylamine exposure. Hum. Exp. Toxicol. 24(2): 89-94, 2005.
    • No Author: Nitrosamines, 15 Listings. Report on Carcinogens (latest edition); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
    • Oury, B., Limasset, J.C. and Protois, J.C.: Assessment of exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines in the rubber industry. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 70(4): 261-271, 1997.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): N-Nitrosodimethylamine. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1731-1733.
    • Siddiqui, M. and Atasi, K.Z.: N-Nitrosodimethylamine: a disinfectant byproduct and its occurrence in wastewater. Water Environ. Res. 76(4): 316-326, 2004.
    • Straif, K., et al.: Exposure to high concentrations of nitrosamines and cancer mortality among a cohort of rubber workers. Occup. Environ. Med. 57(3): 180-187, 2000.
  • Date Last Revised: 11/10/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • ThermoSorb/N Tube
  • maximum volume: 75 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/TEA
  • analytical solvent: (75:25) Dichloromethane:Methanol
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 27)
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: OSHA personnel may obtain ThermoSorb/N Tube from the Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC). Store sample in freezer.
Bulk Method:
  • Limit the amount of bulk submitted to one gram or one mL.

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