Saf Health Work.  2011 Jun;2(2):97-104.

Clinical Outcomes of Occupational Exposure to N,N-Dimethylformamide: Perspectives from Experimental Toxicology

  • 1College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


N,N-Dimethylformamide (DMF) is globally used as an organic solvent in the production of synthetic leather and resins because of its low volatility, making it an attractive industrial material. Despite its excellent property as a chemical solvent, utilization of DMF is somewhat controversial nowadays due to its hazardous effects on exposed workers in work places. Many toxification cases are being reported globally and the number of cases of liver damage is still increasing in developing countries. On account of this, a series of epidemiologic surveys are being conducted to understand the degrees of liver damage caused by DMF exposure. Furthermore, many investigations have been performed to clarify the mechanism of DMF-induced liver toxicity using both human and experimental animal models. This review summarizes the current occupational cases reported on liver damage from workers exposed to DMF in industrial work places and the research results that account for DMF-induced liver failure and possible carcinogenesis. The findings reviewed here show the synergistic toxicity of DMF exposure with other toxicants, which might occur through complicated but distinct mechanisms, which may extend our knowledge for establishing risk assessments of DMF exposure in industrial work places.


Dimethylformamide; Hepatotoxicity; Occupational exposure; Cytochrome P-450 2E1
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