Health and Safety Guide No. 43






    This is a companion volume to Environmental Health Criteria 114:
    Dimethylformamide (DMF)

    Published by the World Health Organization for the International
    Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
    and the World Health Organization)

    This report contains the collective views of an international group of
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization

    WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    Dimethylformamide (DMF); health and safety guide.

         (Health and safety guide ; no. 43)

         1.Dimethylformamide - standards  I.Series

         ISBN 92 4 151043 9          (NLM Classification: QV 633)
         ISSN 0259-7268

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         1.1. Identity
         1.2. Physical and chemical properties
         1.3. Analytical methods
         1.4. Production and uses


         2.1. Human exposure to dimethylformamide
         2.2. Environmental transport, distribution, and
         2.3. Kinetics and metabolism
         2.4. Effects on organisms in the environment
         2.5. Effects on experimental animals and  in vitro test
         2.6. Effects on human beings


         3.1. Conclusions
         3.2. Recommendations
               3.2.1. Safe handling
               3.2.2. Further research


         4.1. Main human health hazards, prevention and protection,
               first aid
               4.1.1. Advice to physicians
               4.1.2. Health surveillance and exposure monitoring
         4.2. Explosion and fire hazards
         4.3. Storage
         4.4. Transport
         4.5. Spillage
         4.6. Disposal




         7.1. Previous evaluations by international bodies
         7.2. Exposure limit values
         7.3. Specific restrictions
         7.4. Labelling, packaging, and transport



    The Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) documents produced by the
    International Programme on Chemical Safety include an assessment of
    the effects on the environment and on human health of exposure to a
    chemical or combination of chemicals, or physical or biological
    agents. They also provide guidelines for setting exposure limits.

    The purpose of a Health and Safety Guide is to facilitate the
    application of these guidelines in national chemical safety
    programmes. The first three sections of a Health and Safety Guide
    highlight the relevant technical information in the corresponding EHC.
    Section 4 includes advice on preventive and protective measures and
    emergency action; health workers should be thoroughly familiar with
    the medical information to ensure that they can act efficiently in an
    emergency. Within the Guide is a Summary of Chemical Safety
    Information which should be readily available, and should be clearly
    explained, to all who could come into contact with the chemical. The
    section on regulatory information has been extracted from the legal
    file of the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
    (IRPTC) and from other United Nations sources.

    The target readership includes occupational health services, those in
    ministries, governmental agencies, industry, and trade unions who are
    involved in the safe use of chemicals and the avoidance of
    environmental health hazards, and those wanting more information on
    this topic. An attempt has been made to use only terms that will be
    familiar to the intended user. However, sections 1 and 2 inevitably
    contain some technical terms. A bibliography has been included for
    readers who require further background information.

    Revision of the information in this Guide will take place in due
    course, and the eventual aim is to use standardized terminology.
    Comments on any difficulties encountered in using the Guide would be
    very helpful and should be addressed to:

    The Manager
    International Programme on Chemical Safety
    Division of Environmental Health
    World Health Organization
    1211 Geneva 27



    1.1  Identity

    Common name:             dimethylformamide

    Chemical structure:      H3C  O
                              '   "
                              N - C
                              '   '
                             H3C  H

    Chemical formula:        C3H7NO

    Common synonyms:          N,N-dimethylformamide, DMF, DMFA,

    CAS registry
    number:                  68-12-2

    RTECS registry
    number:                  LQ2100000

    Conversion factors:      1 ppm = 3 mg/m3
      (at 20°c)              1 mg/m3 = 0.33 ppm

    Relative molecular
    mass:                    73.1

    1.2  Physical and Chemical Properties

    Dimethylformamide (DMF) is a colourless liquid with only a slight,
    unpleasant odour; smell is, therefore, not a useful warning signal.
    DMF is usually stable but, when it comes into contact with strong
    oxidizers, halogens, alkylaluminium, or halogenated hydrocarbons
    (especially in combination with metals), it may cause fires and
    explosions. DMF is completely miscible with water and most organic
    solvents. It has a relatively low vapour pressure.

    1.3  Analytical Methods

    Gas-chromatographic methods for determining DMF are available.

    1.4  Production and Uses

    DMF is a universal industrial solvent, because of its solubility in
    water, its organic nature, and its high dielectric constant. The main
    use (65-75%) of DMF is as a solvent for acrylic fibres an

    polyurethanes; 15-20% is used in the production of pharmaceutical
    products. It is also used as a laboratory solvent and, in the chemical
    industry, as an intermediate and an additive.

    DMF is not normally available to the general population, either as the
    pure compound or as a component of consumer products.


    2.1  Human Exposure to Dimethylformamide

    DMF does not occur naturally. There are few data concerning
    environmental levels and the exposure of the general population to
    DMF. Concentrations within the range of 0.02-0.12 mg/m3 have been
    found in the air in residential areas near industrial sites. DMF has
    been detected only rarely in the water of heavily industrialized river
    basins, and then only at concentrations below 0.01 mg/litre.

    Data are not available on the levels of DMF in soil, plants, wildlife,
    and food.

    Occupational exposure occurs via skin contact with DMF liquid and
    vapour, and through the inhalation of vapour. Concentrations of
    3-86 mg/m3 air have been detected, with peaks of up to 600 mg/m3
    during the repair or maintenance of machines. In a few unusual
    situations, levels of up to 4500 mg/m3 have been reported.

    2.2  Environmental Transport, Distribution, and Transformation

    DMF is stable in ambient air, but, in water, it may undergo microbial
    and algal degradation. Adapted microorganisms and activated sludge
    efficiently biodegrade DMF. As a result of its complete solubility in
    water, DMF moves readily through soils and would not be expected to
    accumulate in the food chain.

    2.3  Kinetics and Metabolism

    Toxic amounts of DMF may be absorbed by inhalation and through the
    skin. Absorbed DMF is distributed uniformly. The metabolic
    transformation of DMF takes place mainly in the liver with the aid of
    microsomal enzyme systems. In animals and human beings, the main
    product of DMF biotransformation is  N-hydroxymethyl- N-methyl-
    formamide (DMF-OH). This metabolite is converted during gas-
    chromatographic analysis to  N-methylformamide (NMF), which is itself
    (together with  N-hydroxy-methylformamide and formamide) a minor
    metabolite. In metabolic studies and biological monitoring, urinary
    metabolite concentrations are measured and expressed as NMF, though
    DMF-OH is the major contributor to this concentration. The
    determination of NMF/DMF-OH in the urine may be a suitable biological
    indicator for total DMF exposure.

    It has been demonstrated in experimental animals that DMF metabolism
    is saturated at high exposure levels and that, at very high levels,
    DMF inhibits its own metabolism.

    Metabolic interaction occurs between DMF and ethanol.

    2.4  Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    The effects of DMF on the environment have not been well studied. Its
    toxicity for aquatic organisms appears to be low.

    2.5  Effects on Experimental Animals and In Vitro Test Systems

    The acute toxicity of DMF in a variety of animal species is low
    (in rats, the oral LD50 is approximately 3000 mg/kg, the dermal
    LD50 is approximately 5000 mg/kg, and the inhalation LC50 is
    approximately 10 000 mg/m3). DMF may produce slight to moderate skin
    and eye irritation. One study on guinea-pigs indicated that it did not
    have sensitization potential. DMF can facilitate the absorption of
    other chemical substances through the skin.

    All routes of exposure of experimental animals to DMF may cause dose-
    related liver injury, but regeneration after the cessation of exposure
    has been demonstrated. In some studies, signs of toxicity have also
    been described in the myocardium and kidneys.

    DMF has been shown not to be toxic to the testes or ovaries, and no
    effects have been seen on fertility in rats. However, DMF is
    embryotoxic and is a weak teratogen in rats, mice, and rabbits. In
    inhalation exposure studies, the rabbit has been found to be the most
    sensitive species, teratogenic effects being observed at
    concentrations of 450 mg/m3 or more, but not at 150 mg/m3. After
    dermal exposure, a very low incidence of embryotoxic and teratogenic
    effects was observed, in some studies, at dose levels ranging between
    100 and 400 mg/kg per day.

    In an extensive set of short-term tests for genetic and related
    effects, DMF was generally inactive, both  in vitro and  in vivo.

    Adequate long-term carcinogenicity studies on experimental animals
    have not been reported.

    2.6  Effects on Human Beings

    No adverse effects of DMF on the general population have been clearly
    demonstrated. However, skin irritation and conjunctivitis have been
    reported after direct contact with DMF.

    After accidental exposure to high levels of DMF, abdominal pain,
    nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue occur within 48 h. Liver
    function may be disturbed, and blood pressure changes, tachycardia,
    and ECG abnormalities have been reported. Recovery is usually

    Following long-term, repeated exposure, symptoms include headache,
    loss of appetite, and fatigue. Biochemical signs of liver dysfunction
    may be observed. In the absence of skin contact, liver damage
    generally seems to occur only when the DMF exposure level is above
    30 mg/m3. This air level corresponds to approximately 40 mg
    NMF/DMF-OH per gram creatinine in a post-shift urine sample.

    Inhalation exposure to DMF, even at concentrations below 30 mg/m3,
    may cause alcohol intolerance. Symptoms may include a sudden facial
    flush, tightness in the chest, and dizziness, sometimes accompanied by
    nausea and dyspnoea. The symptoms last from 2 to 4 h and disappear
    without treatment.

    There is limited evidence that DMF is carcinogenic for human beings.
    An increased incidence of testicular tumours was reported in one
    study, whereas another study showed an increased incidence of tumours
    of the buccal cavity and pharynx, but not of the testes.

    In two studies, about which few details were provided, an increased
    frequency of miscarriages was reported in women exposed to DMF, among
    other chemicals.


    3.1  Conclusions

    1.   In view of the present uses of DMF, exposure of the general
         population is probably very low.

    2.   DMF is readily absorbed through the skin, as well as by
         inhalation. Determination of urinary DMF-OH/NMF is a useful means
         of estimating the total amount of DMF absorbed.

    3.   The risk of liver damage is low, as long as the level of DMF in
         the ambient air is kept below 30 mg/m3 and there is no skin
         contact. A tentative value for the corresponding urinary
         NMF/DMF-OH level in a post-shift sample is 40 mg/g creatinine.

    4.   DMF is embryotoxic and a weak teratogen in mice, rats, and

    5.   There is limited evidence of the carcinogenicity of DMF for human

    6.   Available data indicate low environmental toxicity. It is
         unlikely that bioaccumulation takes place.

    3.2  Recommendations

    3.2.1  Safe handling

    1.   Airborne concentrations should be maintained below 30 mg/m3,
         and skin contact should be prevented.

    2.   Urinary NMF/DMF-OH, as an index of total exposure, should be
         monitored and maintained below 40 mg NMF/g creatinine in post-
         shift samples. If this level is exceeded, action should be taken
         to reduce exposure.

    3.2.2  Further research

    1.   The possible carcinogenic effects of DMF in man should be
         investigated in experimental animals and human populations.

    2.   More information on the extrapolation of the embryo-toxicity and
         teratogenicity of DMF in animal studies to human beings is
         needed. Comparison of the kinetics of DMF in human beings and
         animals would be valuable.

    3.   There is a need for more information on the mechanism of action
         and the relative potency of metabolites of DMF in both animals
         and human beings.

    4.   The relationships  (a) between urinary metabolite concentrations
         and atmospheric exposure levels (in the absence of skin contact),
         and  (b) between the total dose by all routes (as indicated by
         post-shift urinary NMF levels) and the absence of hepatotoxicity,
         should be refined.


    4.1  Main Human Health Hazards, Prevention and Protection, First Aid

    DMF is easily absorbed through the skin (in both liquid and vapour
    forms), and by inhalation and ingestion. It can penetrate all
    protective gloves; neoprene and natural rubber gloves provide the best

    Because the odour of DMF is not strong, it is a poor warning signal.
    DMF may produce moderate skin and eye irritation.

    High exposure by any route may injure the liver and the unborn child.
    Conflicting data exist, but there is limited evidence for the
    carcinogenicity of DMF in human beings. Even at low exposure levels,
    DMF may cause a pronounced alcohol intolerance in some workers,
    reflected by facial flushing, dizziness, and tightness of the chest.

    The human health hazards associated with certain types of exposure to
    DMF, together with preventive and protective measures and first-aid
    recommendations, are listed in the Summary of Chemical Safety

    4.1.1  Advice to physicians

    Medical treatment is symptomatic. Following high exposure, liver
    function should be monitored and DMF exposure should not be resumed
    until the patient has fully recovered.

    Although specific information is not available on sensitive
    subpopulations, persons with pre-existing liver disease and pregnant
    women may be at higher risk when working with DMF.

    Persons working with DMF may show alcohol intolerance and should be
    warned of this.

    4.1.2  Health surveillance and exposure monitoring

    Concentrations of DMF in the work-place should be monitored,
    preferably by personal monitoring in the breathing zone. Airborne
    concentrations should be maintained below 30 mg/m3 and skin contact
    should be prevented. Urinary NMF/DMF-OH, as an index of total
    exposure, should be monitored and maintained below 40 mg NMF/g
    creatinine in post-shift samples. If this level is exceeded, action
    should be taken to reduce exposure.

    Workers regularly exposed to DMF should have a periodic health
    examination, which may include a medical history, a general medical
    examination, and biomedical laboratory testing. Special attention
    should be paid to the skin and to liver function.

    4.2  Explosion and Fire Hazards

    DMF is flammable and its explosive limits are 2.2-16% v/v. At
    temperatures above 350°C, thermal decomposition of DMF to form
    dimethylamine and carbon monoxide occurs. Open flames and smoking
    should not be allowed in the vicinity.

    Powder, alcohol-resistant foam, water spray, and carbon dioxide can be
    used as fire-extinguishing agents. Do not use halogenated
    extinguishing media.

    Fire-fighters should be aware that the burning and thermal
    decomposition of DMF may give rise to toxic gases and vapours, such as
    dimethylamine and carbon monoxide.

    4.3  Storage

    As DMF can attack certain metals and compounds, such as copper and
    aluminium, plastics, rubbers, and coatings, it should be stored in
    mild-steel containers. It should be stored under fire-proof conditions
    and away from oxidizing agents, halogens, alkylaluminium, and
    halogenated hydrocarbons.

    4.4  Transport

    The conditions described in section 4.3 also apply during transport.
    In case of an accident, stop the engine and remove all sources of
    ignition. Do not smoke. Keep bystanders at a distance and upwind. In
    case of spillage or a fire, use the methods advised in sections 4.5
    and 4.2, respectively. Notify the police and fire brigade immediately.

    4.5  Spillage

    Remove all ignition sources and evacuate all persons not wearing
    adequate protective equipment. Collect leaking liquid in sealable
    mild-steel containers, soak up spilled liquid with sand or another
    inert absorbent, and put in a sealable container for safe disposal. Do
    not allow run-off into sewers or ditches, as this may cause an
    explosion hazard. Ensure skin and respiratory protection.

    4.6  Disposal

    Burn in an appropriate incinerator with appropriate effluent gas


    All operations should be conducted in such a way that DMF
    contamination of the air, water, and soil does not occur.


     This summary should be easily available to all health workers
     concerned with, and users of, dimethylformanide. It should be
     displayed at, or near, entrances to areas where there is potential
     exposure to dimethylformanide, and on processing equipment and
     containers. The summary should be translated into the appropriate
     language(s). All persons potentially exposed to the chemical should
     also have the instructions in the summary clearly explained.

     Space is available for insertion of the National Occupational
     Exposure Limit, the address and telephone number of the National
     Poison Control Centre, and for local trade names.


    (DMF (C3H7NO)
    CAS Registry No. 68-12-2

    RTECS Registry No. LQ2100000

    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                                                      OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

    Relative molecular mass                        73.1                                      Colourless liquid with characteristic odour; DMF
    Boiling point (°C)                             153                                       decomposes in a flame or on a hot surface, to form
    Melting point (°C)                             - 61                                      toxic gases (dimethylamine, carbon monoxide);
    Flash point (°C) (open cup)                    57                                        it reacts violently with strong oxidizing agents,
    Autoignition temperature (°C)                  445                                       alkylaluminium; halogens, and halogenated
    Relative density (water = 1)                   0.95                                      hydrocarbons. DMF is easily absorbed through the
    Relative vapour density (air = 1)              2.5                                       skin, by inhalation, and also by ingestion.
    Vapour pressure (mbar at 25°C)                 5
    Water solubility                               unlimited
    Explosive limits (vol. % in air)               2.2-16
    Dielectric constant (at 20°C)                  36.7
    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                               PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                 FIRST AID

    SKIN: redness, pain; on                        Avoid skin exposure; wear protective      Remove contaminated clothing; wash with
    absorption: headache,                          gloves (neoprene or natural rubber)       plenty of water; seek medical attention
    dizziness, vomiting, abdominal                 and clothing; DMF readily penetrates
    spasms                                         all gloves

    EYES: Irritant; redness, pain,                 Wear safety goggles, face shield          Rinse with plenty of water; transport
    blurred vision                                                                           to a doctor

    INHALATION: Coughing; headache,                Ventilation, local exhaust, and           Remove patient from contaminated area
    sore throat, dizziness, vomiting,              breathing protectiona                     to fresh air; seek medical attention
    abdominal spasms


    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                               PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                 FIRST AID

    INGESTION: Headache, dizziness,                Unlikely occupational hazard              Rinse mouth; give plenty of water to
    vomiting, abdominal spasms                                                               drink and induce vomiting; seek medical
                                                                                             attention/transport to hospital

    Other adverse effects: Liver damage,           Limit exposure
    damage to the unborn child,
    potential carcinogen
    SPILLAGE                                       STORAGE                                   FIRE AND EXPLOSION

    Collect leaking liquid in sealable             Fire-proof, away from oxidizing           DMF is flammable and its explosive
    containers; absorb spilled liquid in sand      agents, alkylaluminium, halogens,         limits are 2.2-16 vol. %; in case of
    or inert absorbent and remove to               and halogenated hydrocarbons              fire, use powder, alcohol-resistant
    safe place; ensure personal protection                                                   foam, water spray, or carbon dioxide
    by use of a serf-contained breathing
    apparatus; do not allow run-off into
    sewers or ditches

    Burn in an appropriate incinerator             National Occupational Exposure Limit:     United Nations No.: 2265

                                                   Local trade names:

                                                   National Poison Control Centre:

    a  Appropriate respirators should be worn only when work practice controls are not technically feasible, when they fail, or when
       they need to be supplemented. Self-contained breathing equipment should be used instead of masks in cases where oxygen may be
       lacking (tanks and other confined places).

    The information given in this section has been extracted from the
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) legal
    file and other United Nations sources. Its intention is to give the
    reader a representative, but not an exhaustive, overview of current
    regulations, guidelines, and standards.

    The reader should be aware that regulatory decisions about chemicals,
    taken in a certain country, can only be fully understood in the
    framework of the legislation of that country. Furthermore, the
    regulations and guidelines of all countries are subject to change and
    should always be verified with the appropriate regulatory authorities
    before application.

    7.1  Previous Evaluations by International Bodies

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer evaluated
    dimethylformamide in 1988 and concluded that "although there is
    inadequate evidence for the carcinogenicity of DMF in experimental
    animals, there is limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of DMF in
    humans. DMF is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)."

    7.2  Exposure Limit Values

    Some exposure limit values are shown in the following table. When no
    effective date appears in the IRPTC legal file, the year of the
    reference from which the data are taken is indicated by (r).

    7.3  Specific Restrictions

    In the Federal Republic of Germany, it is noted that no risk of
    adverse effects in offspring occurs as long as exposure of pregnant
    women is kept below the maximum worksite concentration (MAK). Its
    handling is prohibited, or restricted, for adolescents and pregnant or
    nursing women.

    In the Federal Republic of Germany, DMF is classified as slightly
    harmful in water, and appropriate security measures should be taken
    during storage, loading, and transport, in order to avoid
    contamination of water.

    In the USA, exemption from residue tolerance requirements is made for
    dimethylformamide in food and animal feed, in certain cases. This
    exemption applies to DMF residues in, or on, certain specified plant
    products, when used in formulations with the fungicide triforine at
    concentrations not exceeding 30%. It also applies when DMF is
     (a) used in plant products according to good agricultural practice,
    as an inert (or occasionally active) ingredient of pesticides, or
     (b) applied to growing crops for some specified purposes.


    Medium    Specification      Country                Exposure limit descriptionb                         Value              Effective
                                 organization                                                               (mg/kg)            date

    AIR       Work-place         Australiaa             Threshold limit value (TLV)                                            1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3

                                 Belgiuma               Threshold limit value (TLV)                         30 mg/m3           1985 (r)

                                 Bulgariaa              Maximum permissible concentration (MPC)             10 mg/m3           1985 (r)

                                 Czechoslovakia         Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1985
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                               60 mg/m3

                                 German                 Maximum allowable concentration (MAK)                                  1985 (r)
                                  Democratic            - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3
                                  Republic              - Short-term exposure level (STEL)                  60 mg/m3

                                 Germany,               Maximum worksite concentration (MAK)                                   1986 (r)
                                  Federal               - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       60 mg/m3
                                  Republic of           - Short-term exposure level (STEL)                  120 mg/m3
                                                          (30-min) (4 × per shift)

                                 Hungary                Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       10 mg/m3
                                                        - Short-term exposure level (STEL)                  20 mg/m3
                                                          (30 min)

                                 Italya                 Threshold limit value (TLV)                         30 mg/m3           1985 (r)

                                 Japana                 Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1986 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3


    Medium    Specification      Country                Exposure limit descriptionb                         Value              Effective
                                 organization                                                               (mg/kg)            date

    AIR       Work-place         Polanda                Maximum permissible concentration (MAC)                                1982
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                               10 mg/m3

                                 Netherlandsa           Maximum limit (MXL)                                                    1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3

                                 Romaniaa               Maximum permissible concentration (MAC)                                1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       20 mg/m3
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                               50 mg/m3

                                 Swedena                Hygienic limit value (HLV)                                             1985
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3
                                                        - Short-term exposure level (STEL)                  45 mg/m3
                                                          (15-min TWA)

                                 Switzerlanda           Maximum worksite concentration (MAK)                                   1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3

                                 United Kingdoma        Occupational exposure standard                                         1989 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA) (8 h)                 30 mg/m3
                                                        - Short-term exposure level (STEL)                  60 mg/m3
                                                          (10-min time-weighted average)

                                 USA (OSHA)a            Permissible exposure limit (PEL)                                       1986 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       30 mg/m3

                                 USSRa                  Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1977
                                                        - Ceiling value (CLV)                               10 mg/m3

                                 Yugoslaviaa            Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1985 (r)
                                                        - Time-weighted average (TWA)                       10 mg/m3


    Medium    Specification      Country                Exposure limit descriptionb                         Value              Effective
                                 organization                                                               (mg/kg)            date

    AIR       Ambient            USSR                   Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1984
                                                        - (1 ×/day)                                         0.03 mg/m3
                                                        - (av/day)                                          0.03 mg/m3

    AIR       Emissions          Germany,               Maximum limit (MXL)                                                    1986
                                  Federal               - at a mass flow of > 2 kg/h                        100 mg/m3
                                  Republic of
                                                        DMF belongs to Class II. The air emissions
                                                        of organic compounds must not exceed (as
                                                        the sum of all compounds in that class) the
                                                        given mass concentration

    WATER     Surface            USSR                   Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)               10 mg/litre        1983

                                 USSR                   Maximum allowable concentration (MAC)                                  1985 (r)
                                                        (surface water for fishing)                         0.28 mg/litre

    FOOD                         USA                    Maximum permissible concentration (PMC)             10 g/kg            1986 (r)
                                                        (applies to certain spedfled colour additives       (1%)
                                                        that may be used in food, drugs, or cosmetics)

    URINE     Collected at the   USA (ACGIH)            Biological exposure limit (BEL) as                  40 mg/g            1986-1987
              end of the work                           N-methylformamide/g creatinlne

    a  Risk of intake by skin absorption noted.
    b  8-h TWA. unless stated otherwise.
        In the USA, dimethylformamide may be used as a component of adhesives
    in articles intended for use in the packaging, transportation, or
    holding of food.

    European Economic Community (EEC) legislation prohibits the marketing
    of cosmetic products containing dimethylformamide.

    7.4  Labelling, Packaging, and Transport

    The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transportation of
    Dangerous Goods classifies dimethylformamide in:

    Hazard Class 3: flammable liquids

    The label should be as follows:

    FIGURE 1

    European Economic Community legislation requires the labelling of DMF
    as a dangerous substance, using the symbol:

    FIGURE 2

    The label must read:

          Harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin; irritating to eyes;
          in case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of
          water and seek medical advice; after contact with skin, wash
          immediately with plenty of ......... (to be specified by the
          manufacturer); wear suitable protective clothing.

    In the EEC, the labelling of solvent preparations containing
    dimethylformamide is governed by legislation that classifies DMF in
    Class II/b.


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    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Dimethylformamide (EHC 114, 1991)
       Dimethylformamide (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 71, 1999)