Acute exposure Inhalation

No discomfort to the upper airways, changes in nasal volume or spirometric data were reported in male adults exposed to up to 50 mg/m3 (12.3 ppm) for eight hours (Akesson and Paulsson, 1997). No respiratory effects were described by employees exposed to concentrations of up to 83 ppm (336.6 mg/m3) in a study of industrial hygiene at two microelectronics manufacturers (Beaulieu and Schmerber, 1991).

Dermal

Ten of twelve workers in an electrotechnical company developed acute irritant contact dermatitis of the hands within three days of using NMP; latex gloves were used only intermittently. Varying degrees of itching, redness, swelling, and small vesicle formation on the volar aspect of the fingers were reported. The severity of the reaction appeared to relate to the degree and duration of exposure, and the effects were reversible on cessation of exposure. One worker developed skin peeling after a week and cutaneous effects resolved within three weeks after cessation of exposure. Skin thickening and brownish discoloration were reported in the worst case. Systemic effects were not reported (Leira et al., 1992).

Solomon et al. (1996) reported staining of the hands, which was still apparent two weeks after cleaning up a spillage of NMP. In this case, however, malaise, headache, nausea and vomiting were reported for four days after exposure.

No dermal effects were reported in a study of industrial hygiene at two microelectronic semiconductor manufacturer facilities. Areas with and without NMP distillation were studied and neoprene gloves were used as standard (Beaulieu and Schmerber, 1991).

Natural rubber gloves are specially designed and packaged to minimise particulate generation. These gloves were demonstrated to provide protection from NMP at room temperature only. Permeation of NMP through natural rubber gloves has been shown to increase with increasing temperatures, however, the integrity of these gloves is not affected by prolonged contact with NMP (Zellers and Sulewski, 1993). Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), latex, neoprene and nitrile gloves are permeable to NMP (Leira et al., 1992; Zellers and Sulewski, 1993). While natural rubber gloves are commonly used in microelectronics industry clean rooms, often where NMP is used at high temperatures, there are relatively few reports of dermal effects in the literature. Butyl rubber gloves are treated with talc as an adhesion inhibitor during packaging and are not used in clean rooms. However, they were shown to provide complete protection from NMP under all test conditions (Zellers and Sulewski, 1993).

There is little information on the ocular effects of NMP. Ocular effects have been reported after occupational exposure to NMP vapour (Beaulieu and Schmerber, 1991), however, these findings have not been reproduced in experimental settings.

Unbearable eye irritation was described after brief exposures to concentrations of 49 to 83 ppm (198 to 336.5 mg/m3) NMP vapour in a study of industrial hygiene at two microelectronics manufacturers. In the same study, immediate discomfort and minor eye irritation were described at 15 to 17 ppm (61 to 69 mg/m3), and 0.72 to 1.50 ppm (3 to 6 mg/m3) was perceived as uncomfortable after about 30 minutes (Beaulieu and Schmerber, 1991). It is unclear, however, how these concentrations were derived from the data presented.

In contrast, no discomfort to the eyes was reported in male adults exposed to up to 50 mg/m3 (12.3 ppm) for 8 hours (Akesson and Paulsson, 1997).

Ingestion

Only one study could be found in the literature involving ingestion of NMP. While no effects were documented in three healthy males administered 100 mg NMP orally, the main objective of this study was not to report clinical effects but to determine the major metabolic pathway of NMP in humans (Akesson and J├Ânsson, 1997).

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