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Dimethylformamide Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is part of a series of chemical fact sheets developed by TURI to help Massachusetts companies, community organizations and residents understand the chemical's use and health and environmental effects, as well as the availability of safer alternatives. Since Massachusetts companies report usage under the Toxics Use Reduction Act, readers will learn how the chemicals are being used and by which companies.

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.

Learn more about Dimethylformamide health effects, use in Massachusetts, and alternatives here.