A potential carcinogen, dimethylformamide (DMF) has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny in the past 10 years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added dimethylformamide to its Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know list of toxic chemicals in 1995. Manufacturers use dimethylformamide as a solvent in a variety of applications, including the production of electronic components, pharmaceutical products, textile coatings, and urethanes. In Massachusetts, dimethylformamide use declined slightly, by 6%, between 1995 and 1997.
Human studies have identified increased rates of testicular cancer in humans exposed to dimethylformamide. Animal studies have documented teratogenic effects, including decreased fetal weight and increased spontaneous abortions. A human study of individuals exposed to multiple chemicals suggests that dimethylformamide may increase the rate of spontaneous abortions.
Massachusetts facilities consumed over 4 million pounds of dimethylformamide in 1997. Dimethylformamide use declined slightly, by 6%, between 1995 and 1997.