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2-Nitropropane, also known as 2-NP, is a high volume chemical that the general population is not exposed to frequently, but does affect people working with the chemical. Occupational exposure occurs to about 4,000 workers a year and is from cigarette smoke (1.1 to 1.2 µg/cigarette), residues in coatings such as beverage can coatings, adhesives and print, and vegetable oils fractionated with 2-NP, and as a gasoline additive (#INCHEM, 1992).


Just the facts

Physical Information

Name: 2-Nitropropane

Use: solvent and additive

Source: synthetic chemistry

Recommended daily intake: none

Absorption: skin, dermal, inhalation

Sensitive individuals: workers

Toxicity/symptoms: highly toxic and carcinogenic

Chemical Structure

Structure retrieved from Wikimedia


Chemical Description

2-Nitropropane is clear, colorless liquid with a slightly fruity odor that is flammable and stable under normal conditions (#US HHS, 2005) and #INCHEM, 1992). It is slightly soluble in water and miscible in numerous solvents including most aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, esthers, and ethers (#US HHS, 2005).


Chemical Formula: CH 3 CH(NO 2 )CH 3

Synonyms: dimethylnitro-methane; isonitropropane; nitroisopropane and 2-NP

Molecular Weight: 89.09

Boiling Point: 120.3°C

Density (25/4°C)L: 0.9821

Vapor Pressure: 12.9

Chemical Formula: CH 3 CH(NO 2 )CH 3



2-NP is used as a solvent, industrial intermediary, in explosives, and as an additive in gasoline (#US HHS, 2005.

2-Nitropropane is used as an industrial solvent in the following industries (from #OSHA):

  • coatings for vinyl, epoxy, nitrocellulose, and chlorinated rubber
  • printing inks
  • adhesives


  • industrial construction and maintenance
  • printing (rotogravure and flexographic inks)
  • highway maintenance (traffic markings)
  • shipbuilding and maintenance (marine coatings)
  • furniture
  • food packaging
  • plastic products

Health Effects

2-NP is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" with extensive evidence of it being carcinogenic in rats and there are numerous different estimates of how many workers have been exposed historically (#US HHS, 2005 and #EPA, 2005).

Human exposure to 2-NP is nearly completed from occupational exposure and high concentrations of 2-NO are highly toxic and have produced fatalities (#INCHEM, 1992). Initial symptoms include headache, nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, and diarrhea and, in causes of fatalities, hepatic failure was the primary cause of death with lung oedema, gastrointestinal bleeding, and respiratory and kidney failure being contributing factors (#INCHEM, 1992).

Environmental Effects

2-NP is highly mobile in the environment, slightly soluble in water, slightly bioaccumulative, and highly evaporative (#INCHEM, 2002).


United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). "High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge - Robust Summaries & Test Plans: 2-Nitropropane". May, 2005.

International Programme in Chemical Safety (INCHEM). "ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA 138 - 2-NITROPROPANE". 1992.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US HHS). Public Health Service. National Toxicology Program. "11th Report on Carcinogens - 2-Nitropropane". January 31, 2005.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "Chemical Sampling Information - 2-Nitropropane". Revision Date: 01/12/1999. Accessed 12-10-07.

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