NMP (N-methylpyrrolidone)

TSCA Ten: Snapshots of the first 10 chemicals to be reviewed under the new TSCA

Summary: An overhaul in 2016 of the main U.S. chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, required EPA to choose the first 10 chemicals for risk evaluation. NMP, one of the first 10 chemicals, is commonly used in paint and coating removal products but is also found in automotive products, inks, degreasers, and more. NMP is linked to fetal development problems, including low birth weight and birth defects.

In January 2017, EPA proposed a rule to restrict most uses of NMP in paint and coating removal products. Unfortunately, the agency recently indefinitely delayed finalization of this proposed restriction.

What kinds of products may use it?

  • Paint strippers
  • Polyurethane paints
  • Waterborne paints
  • Inks and toners
  • Degreasers
  • Automotive care

What hazards does it pose?

  • Developmental toxicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Liver toxicity
  • Kidney toxicity
  • Immunotoxicity
  • Skin and eye irritation

Who may be exposed or most at risk?

  • Workers and occupational bystanders in NMP manufacturing and processing industries
  • Workers using commercial products, such as paint stripping in bathtub and furniture refinishing
  • Pregnant women/developing fetus/children
  • People that depend on water sources contaminated with NMP
  • People that live near industrial or commercial facilities that use NMP

Production profile (2015)

  • U.S. manufacture (production and import): 160,818,058 lbs
  • Number of manufacturers: at least 27
  • Number of manufacturing sites: 33

What industries use it?

  • Construction
  • Petrochemical processing
  • Plastic manufacturing
  • Agriculture chemical manufacturing
  • Adhesive and sealant manufacture
  • Electronics including cleaning, circuit board printing, and wire enamels

NMP additional resources