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Environmental Assessment

IRIS Toxicological Review of Propionaldehyde (External Review Draft)

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Archived files are provided for reference purposes only. The file was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing archived files may contact the NCEA Webmaster for assistance. Please visit http://epa.gov/ncea to access current information.

Report Information

EPA conducted a peer review of the scientific basis supporting the human health hazard and dose-response assessment of propionaldehyde that will appear on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database.

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John J. Stanek
  • by phone at:   919-541-1048
  • by fax at:   919-541-0245
  • by email at:  stanek.john@epa.gov


The draft Toxicological Review of Propionaldehyde provides scientific information on the effects pertaining to exposure to propionaldehyde.

Propionaldehyde is a colorless liquid with a suffocating, fruity odor. It is used in the manufacturing of propionic acid and polyvinyl and other plastics, in the synthesis of rubber chemicals, and as a disinfectant and preservative.

The chemical is released to the environment primarily through the combustion of wood, gasoline, diesel fuel, and polyethylene. Propionaldehyde is also a component of cigarette smoke and a food additive/flavoring agent. Although no studies on the effects of propionaldehyde administered by the oral route have been performed, based on its expected daily intake (below 1800 µg/day) and eventual metabolism in the citric acid cycle, it does not appear to be a safety concern for public health via ingestion (USFDA, WHO/JECFA). Thus, the most probable route of exposure of concern to the general population is by inhalation. The assessment will present reference values for the noncancer effects of propionaldehyde (RfD and RfC), where supported by available data, and a cancer assessment.


2000 - 2001Propionaldehyde was nominated by OAR in 2000 and 2001 and by OAQPS in 2003 as a chemical listed for monitoring under the Clean Air Act.
Feb 2008EPA releases the external review draft for public comment and review.
Sep 2008EPA released the final Toxicological Review of Propionaldehyde: in suport of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).

Next Steps

Concluding this review, it is expected that there will be a final risk assessment in 2008 that will be published on the IRIS website.

Additional Information

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov website. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the key word EPA- HQ-ORD-2008-0165 (for the docket ID).


U.S. EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Propionaldehyde (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-08/003F, 2008.


This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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