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Use Nationally and in Massachusetts

Dimethylformamide (DMF)

The primary suppliers of dimethylformamide are BASF, DuPont, and ICI. Only DuPont manufactures dimethylformamide in the U.S. American manufacturers use dimethylformamide as a solvent and consumed 32 million pounds of dimethylformamide in 1993. The primary end-users of dimethylformamide are manufacturers of pharmaceuticals (12 million pounds), electronic components (10 million pounds), butadiene (3 million pounds), and urethanes (3 million pounds). Miscellaneous uses include a resin clean-up solvent, reaction solvent, and processing solvent in the manufacture of polyimides, optical brightners, semipermeable membranes, and pesticides.

Massachusetts facilities began reporting dimethylformamide use in 1995, after the U.S. EPA added it to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) list of toxic chemicals.

  • Massachusetts facilities consumed over 4 million pounds of dimethylformamide in 1997 (see Table 1). Chemical distributors accounted for over 50% of total reported dimethylformamide use in Massachusetts.
  • Manufacturers of urethane-based textile coatings and laminates accounted for almost one-third of total Massachusetts dimethylformamide use (see Table 2).
  • Dimethylformamide use declined slightly, by 6%, between 1995 and 1997. The majority of dimethylformamide users including those manufacturing electronics, photoactive/photographic chemicals, membranes, printing plates, and textiles cut use slightly between 1995 and 1997.

Table 1 includes two sources of "output" data: MA TURA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. The MA TURA database includes all non-product material created by a process line prior to release, on-site treatment, or transfer ("byproduct") and the amount of toxic chemical incorporated into a product ("shipped in or as product"). The U.S. EPA, TRI database includes information on the waste materials generated by a facility after on-site treatment including: releases to air, land, and water ("environmental releases") and transfers off-site for treatment or disposal ("off-site transfers").

  • Dimethylformamide outputs as measured by MA TURA mirrored the decline in use, declining by 5% between 1995 and 1997.
  • TRI environmental releases and off-site transfers declined significantly, by 28% between 1995 and 1997.
  • More than one-half of the reduction in on-site releases is due to one company, Polyclad Laminates, which reduced their releases using TUR techniques.

The national chemical use data in this section are from Stanford Research
Institute (SRI) International, 1994, Chemical Economics Handbook,
Dimethylformamide North America (Palo Alto, California: SRI). The
Massachusetts chemical use data are from the Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection (MA DEP), 1998, Massachusetts Toxics Use
Reduction Act Chemical Reporting Data (Boston: MA DEP).