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Substance Technical Guidelines for DBCP
I. Physical and Chemical Data
A. Substance Identification
1. Synonyms: 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane; DBCP, Fumazone; Nemafume; Nemagon; Nemaset; BBC 12; OS 1879. DBCP is also included in agricultural pesticides and fumigants which include the phrase "Nema ________" in their name.
2. Formula: C3H5Br2Cl.
3. Molecular Weight: 236.
B. Physical Data:
1. Boiling point (760 mm Hg): 195° C (383° F)
2. Specific gravity (water = 1): 2.1
3. Vapor density (air = 1 at boiling point of DBCP): Data not available.
4. Melting point: 6° C (43° F).
5. Vapor pressure at 20° C (68° F) 0.8mm Hg.
6. Solubility in water: 1000 ppm.
7. Evaporation rate (Butyl Acetate = 1): very much less than 1.
8. Appearance and odor: Dense yellow or amber liquid with pungent odor at high concentrations. Any detectable odor of DBCP indicates overexposure.
II. Fire Explosion and Reactivity Hazard Data
1. Flash point: 170o F (77o C)
2. Autoignition temperature: Data not available.
3. Flammable limits in air, percent by volume: Data not available.
4. Extinguishing media: Carbon dioxide, dry chemical.
5. Special fire-fighting procedures: Do not use a solid stream of water since a stream will scatter and spread the fire. Use water spray to cool containers exposed to a fire.
6. Unusual fire and explosion hazards: None known.
7. For purposes of complying with the requirements of Group 20 of the General Industry Safety Orders, liquid DBCP is classified as Class III A combustible liquid.
8. For the purpose of complying with the requirements of the Low Voltage Electrical Safety Orders (Title 8, California Administrative Code), the classification of hazardous locations as described in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code for DBCP shall be Class 1, Group D.
9. For the purpose of complying with the requirements of Section 6152, DBCP is classified as a Class B fire hazard.
10. For the purposes of complying with Section 3650(i), locations classified as hazardous due to the presence of DBCP shall be Class 1, Group D.
11. Sources of ignition are prohibited where DBCP presents a fire or explosion hazard.
1. Conditions contributing to instability: None known.
2. Incompatibilities: Reacts with chemically active metals, such as aluminum, magnesium and tin alloys.
3. Hazardous decomposition products: Toxic gases and vapors (such as HBr, HCl and carbon monoxide) may be released in a fire involving DBCP.
4. Special precautions: DBCP will attack some rubber materials and coatings.
III. Spill, Leak and Disposal Procedures
A. If DBCP is spilled or leaked, the following steps should be taken:
1. The area should be evacuated at once and re-entered only while wearing appropriate protective equipment.
2. Contain the spill or leak.
3. If in liquid form, collect on absorbent material and place in sealed containers and/or destroy by chemical methods.
4. If in solid form, collect spilled material in the most convenient and safe manner for reclamation or for disposal or destruction.
B. Persons not wearing protective equipment must be restricted from areas of spills or leaks until cleanup has been completed and monitoring results indicate the area to be safe for re-entry.
C. Waste Disposal Methods:
1. For small quantities of liquid DBCP, absorb on paper towels, remove to safe place (such as a fume hood) and burn the paper. Large quantities can be reclaimed or collected and atomized in a suitable combustion chamber equipped with an appropriate effluent gas cleaning device. If liquid DBCP is absorbed in vermiculite, earth or similar material and placed in sealed containers it may be disposed of in a State-approved sanitary landfill.
2. If in solid form, for small quantities, place on paper towels, remove to a safe place (such as a fume hood) and burn. Large quantities may be reclaimed. However, if this is not practical, dissolve in a flammable solvent (such as alcohol) and atomize in a suitable combustion chamber equipped with an appropriate effluent gas cleaning device. DBCP in solid form may also be disposed in a state-approved sanitary landfill.
IV. Monitoring and Measurement Procedures
A. Exposure above the permissible exposure limit.
1. Eight Hour Exposure Evaluation: Measurements taken for the purpose of determining employee exposure under this section are best taken so that the average 8-hour exposure may be determined from a single 8-hour sample or two (2) 4-hour samples. Air samples should be taken in the employee's breathing zone (air that would most nearly represent that inhaled by the employee).
2. Monitoring Techniques: The sampling and analysis under this section may be performed by collecting the DBCP vapor on petroleum based charcoal absorption tubes with subsequent chemical analyses. The method of measurement chosen should determine the concentration of airborne DBCP at the permissible exposure limit to an accuracy of plus or minus 25 percent. If charcoal tubes are used, a total volume of 10 liters should be collected at a flow rate of 50 cc. per minute for each tube. Analyze the resultant samples as you would samples of halogenated solvent.
B. Since many of the duties relating to employee protection are dependent on the results of monitoring and measuring procedures, employers should assure that the evaluation of employee exposures is performed by a competent industrial hygienist or other technically qualified person.
V. Protective Clothing
Employees should be required to wear appropriate protective clothing to prevent any possibility of skin contact with DBCP. Because DBCP is absorbed through the skin, it is important to prevent skin contact with both liquid and solid forms of DBCP. The employer shall provide impermeable protective clothing and equipment to protect the area of the body which may come in contact with DBCP. Standard rubber and neoprene gloves do not offer adequate protection and should not be relied upon to keep DBCP off the skin. DBCP should never be allowed to remain on the skin. Clothing and shoes should not be allowed to become contaminated with the material, and if they do, they should be promptly removed and not worn again until completely free of the material. Any protective clothing which has developed leaks or is otherwise found to be defective should be repaired or replaced. Employees should also be required to wear splashproof safety goggles where there is any possibility of DBCP contacting the eyes.
VI. Housekeeping and Hygiene Facilities
1. The workplace must be kept clean, orderly and in a sanitary condition;
2. Dry sweeping and the use of compressed air is unsafe for the cleaning of floors and other surfaces where DBCP dust or liquids are found. To minimize the contamination of air with dust, vacuuming with either portable or permanent systems must be used. If a portable unit is selected the exhaust must be attached to the general workplace exhaust ventilation system, or collected within the vacuum unit equipped with high efficiency filters or other appropriate means of contamination removal and not used for other purposes. Units used to collect DBCP must be labeled.
3. Adequate washing facilities with hot and cold water must be provided, and maintained in a sanitary condition. Suitable cleansing agents should also be provided to assure the effective removal of DBCP from the skin.
4. Change or dressing rooms with individual clothes storage facilities must be provided to prevent the contamination of street clothes with DBCP. Because of the hazardous nature of DBCP, contaminated protective clothing must be stored in closed containers for cleaning or disposal.
VII. Miscellaneous Precautions
A. Store DBCP in tightly closed containers in a cool, well ventilated area.
B. Use of supplied-air suits or other impervious clothing (such as acid suits) may be necessary to prevent skin contact with DBCP. Supplied-air suits should be selected, used, and maintained under the supervision of persons knowledgeable in the limitations and potential life-endangering characteristics of supplied-air suits.
C. The use of air-conditioned suits may be necessary in warmer climates.
D. Advise employees of all areas and operations where exposure to DBCP could occur.
VIII. Common Operations
Common operations in which exposure to DBCP is likely to occur are: during its production; and during its formulation into pesticides and fumigants.