2-Nitropropane is clear, colourless liquid with a slightly fruity odour that has the chemical formula CH3CH(NO2)CH3. It is flammable and stable under normal conditions and is slightly soluble in water and miscible in numerous solvents including most aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, esthers, and ethers. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][1]


Uses [2]


2-Nitropropane is used principally as a solvent and chemical intermediate. As a solvent, it is used in inks, paints, adhesives, varnishes, polymers, and synthetic materials. It is used as a solvent or co-solvent with many resins, and these solvent-resin mixtures are used as coatings, including coatings for beverage cans. 2-Nitropropane is a feedstock for the manufacture of 2-nitro-2-methyl-1-propanol and 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol. It is also used as a component of explosives and rocket propellants and as an additive in fuels for internal combustion engines for hobbyists and for racing cars.


Sources & Routes of Exposure


Sources of Exposure [2]


For the general population, daily intake of 2-nitropropane has been estimated at 50 to 100 mg, which includes exposure due to its use as a solvent for beverage-can coatings, film-laminating adhesives, and printing inks for food packaging (3 ng) and from vegetable oils (30 ng). Cigarette smokers receive an additional exposure of 1.2 μg per cigarette. Potential occupational exposure to 2-nitropropane occurs during its manufacture, formulation, and use in industrial construction and maintenance, printing, highway maintenance, and food packaging. Air concentrations of up to 6,000 mg/m3 have been measured in workplaces.


Routes of Exposure [3]


The main routes of exposure to 2-nitropropane are:

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Dermal contact
  • Eye Contact


Health Effects [4]


Acute Effects


Severe liver damage, as well as some kidney damage, has been observed in workers fatally poisoned from acute inhalation exposure to high concentrations of 2-nitropropane. Tests involving acute exposure of rats and mice have demonstrated 2-nitropropane to have moderate to high acute toxicity from inhalation and moderate acute toxicity from oral exposure. (4)


Chronic Effects


Chronic inhalation exposure to 2-nitropropane has caused nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headaches, and pulmonary irritation in workers. In rats and other animals chronically exposed to 2-nitropropane by inhalation, liver effects have been observed. Mild pulmonary effects have been observed in rats and rabbits. The Reference Concentration (RfC) for 2-nitropropane is 0.02 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3) based on liver focal vacuolisation and nodules in rats. EPA has not established a Reference Dose (RfD) for 2-nitropropane.


Reproductive/Developmental Effects


No information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of 2-nitropropane in humans. One animal study has reported foetal toxicity (delayed foetal heart development) following injection of 2-nitropropane in rats.


Cancer Risk


In one epidemiology study, there were no trends indicating increased carcinogenic risk from exposure to 2-nitropropane in humans. In one animal study, multiple hepatocellular carcinomas were observed in rats. EPA has classified 2-nitropropane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen. EPA has calculated a provisional inhalation unit risk factor of 0.0027 (µg/m3)-1.




First Aid Measures


  • Eye Contact: Check for and remove any contact lenses. In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Cold water may be used. WARM water MUST be used. Get medical attention if irritation occurs.
  • Skin Contact: Wash with soap and water. Cover the irritated skin with an emollient. Get medical attention if irritation develops.
  • Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention immediately
  • Serious Inhalation: Evacuate the victim to a safe area as soon as possible. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. If the victim is not breathing, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • WARNING: It may be hazardous to the person providing aid to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when the inhaled material is toxic, infectious or corrosive. Seek immediate medical attention.
  • Ingestion: Do NOT induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If large quantities of this material are swallowed, call a physician immediately. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband.


Fires & Explosion Information


  • 2-Nitropropane is flammable.
  • Auto-Ignition Temperature is 428°C (802.4°F) and the flash points are: Closed Cup – 27.778°C (82°F), Open Cup – 24°C (75.2°F).
  • Highly flammable in presence of open flames and sparks, of heat.
  • Flammable in presence of oxidising materials.
  • Non-flammable in presence of shocks.
  • Slightly explosive in presence of open flames and sparks, of heat.
  • Use dry chemical powder to fight small fires
  • Use alcohol foam, water spray or fog to fight large fires.
  • Cool containing vessels with water jet in order to prevent pressure build-up, auto ignition or explosion.
  • May form explosive mixtures with air.
  • May decompose or polymerise explosively under fire conditions.
  • Vapours may form explosive mixtures with air.
  • Containers may explode when heated.


Exposure Controls and Personal Protection


Engineering Controls


  • Provide exhaust ventilation or other engineering controls to keep the airborne concentrations of 2-nitropropane vapours below their respective threshold limit value.
  • Ensure that eyewash stations and safety showers are proximal to the workstation location.


Personal Protective Equipment


The following personal protective equipment is recommended when handling 2-nitropropane:

  • Safety glasses;
  • Lab coat;
  • Vapour respirator (be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent);
  • Gloves


Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:

  • Splash goggles;
  • Full suit;
  • Vapour respirator;
  • Boots;
  • Gloves;
  • A self-contained breathing apparatus should be used to avoid inhalation of the product.
  • Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist BEFORE handling this product.




United States [6]


OSHA: The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established the following Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL)for 2-nitropropane:

  • General Industry: 25 ppm, 90 mg/m3
  • Construction Industry: 25 ppm, 90 mg/m3 TWA


ACGIH: The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has established a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 10 ppm, 36 mg/m3 Time Weighted Average; Appendix A3 (Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans)


NIOSH: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set the following Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): Potential Carcinogen, Lowest Feasible Concentration


Australia [7]


Safe Work Australia: Safe Work Australia has established a Time Weighted Average (TWA) concentration for 2-nitropropane of 10ppm and 36mg/m3 for a 40-hour workweek.



  1. http://toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/2-Nitropropane
  2. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/Nitropropane.pdf
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0460.pdf
  4. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/nitropro.html
  5. http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9926285
  6. https://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_257900.html
  7. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/Publications/Documents/772/Workplace-exposure-standards-for-airborne-contaminants.docx