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Progesterone

General Description

  • Synonyms: Corlutin; Luteohormone; Pregnenedione; Pregn-4-ene-3,20-dione; Progestin; Progestone
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: P446
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 57-83-0
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: TW0175000
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • white, odorless crystals
    • molecular formula: C21H30O2
    • molecular weight: 314.47
    • melting point: 129-130°C

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Skin and eye irritation, photosensitivity which can result in dermatologic lesions; changes in mood
  • Health Effects: Toxic; may cause heritable genetic damage; may impair fertility; possible risk of harm to the unborn child
  • Affected Organs: Reproductive system; central nervous system
  • Notes:
    1. Progesterone is an OSHA Select carcinogen, but no PEL has been established.
    2. Although progesterone is an endogenous hormone important for the maintenance of a normal pregnancy, it is listed in a NIOSH Alert as one of the drugs that should be handled as a hazardous drug.
    3. Plasma progesterone levels fall markedly around the time of amenorrhea in peri-menopausal women and remain low in postmenopausal women. Progesterone levels are relatively stable in men 40-80 years of age.
    4. Progesterone is metabolized into a number of other biologically active steroids including allopregnanolone, as well as into urinary metabolite markers of progesterone status, pregnanediol and pregnanetriol.
    5. Some CNS effects of progesterone are thought to involve the modulation of GABA(A) receptor activity by the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone.
    6. No adverse effects of occupational exposure to progesterone were located in the biomedical literature.
  • Literature Basis:
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings. NIOSH Publication No. 2004-165.
    • Andréen, L., Sundstrom-Poromaa, I., Bixo, M., Andersson, A., Nyberg, S. and Bäckström, T.: Relationship between allopregnanolone and negative mood in postmenopausal women taking sequential hormone replacement therapy with vaginal progesterone. Psychoneuroendocrinology 30(2): 212-224, 2005.
    • Bélanger, A., et al.: Changes in serum concentrations of conjugated and unconjugated steroids in 40- to 80-year-old men. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 79(4): 1086-1090, 1994.
    • Golub, M.S., Kaufman, F.L., Campbell, M.A. Li, L.-H., et al.: Evidence on the developmental and reproductive toxicity of progesterone (draft) (PDF). Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Section, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, (August) 2004, 71 pp.
    • No authors listed: Progesterone (CAS No. 57-83-0). Report on Carcinogens (latest edition); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2005.
    • Soderpalm, A.H., Lindsey, S., Purdy, R.H., Hauger, R. and Wit de H.: Administration of progesterone produces mild sedative-like effects in men and women. Psychoneuroendocrinology 29(3): 339-354, 2004.
    • Trévoux, R., De Brux, J., Castaner, M., Nahoul, K., Soule, J.-P. and Scholler, R.: Endometrium and plasma hormone profile in the peri-menopause and post-menopause. Maturitas 8(4): 309-326, 1986.
  • Date Last Revised: 04/28/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm open face) in 3-piece cassette
  • maximum volume: 240 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
  • maximum time: 240 Minutes
  • current analytical method: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HPLC/UV at 240 nm
  • analytical solvent: Methanol
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2001)
  • method classification: Partially Validated

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