Best practice to decontaminate work area of Nitrosamines

We are going to start nitrosamine testing at our site and are in the process of putting together a safety SOP. I want to know about decontamination of nitrosamine sample preparation work area. What are the best cleaning solutions , procedures and practices?


@giorgio @Aaron any recommendation or reference for this inquiry. I have been asked about this in previous webinars.

In laboratories, nitrosamines are usually destroyed using a 1:1 Hydrobromic acid and Acetic Acid solution. In Dr. Loepkky’s Lab and at Dr. Keefer’s lab at NCI, we used to make this solution and rinse everything in this solution. YOu may want to look at the feasibility of doing this. Nitrosamines are also degraded in UV. That can be considered too.

Look at this very old article: E. M. Johnson & C. L. Walters (1971) The Specificity of the Release of
Nitrite from N-Nitrosamines by Hydrobromic Acid, Analytical Letters, 4:6, 383-386, DOI:


Thanks ASrinivasan for providing the information. This is certainly helpful.

@Daljit thanks for raising the question. Dr. Aloka @ASrinivasan greatly appreciated you always sharing your Nitrosamine wisdom with our community!

You are welcome Naiffer :slight_smile:

We also need to think about the practicalities of this. Given the very very low permissible limits for NDEA / NDMA then the LOQs needed would be unrealistically low, especially in wash solutions or even on swabs.

Also need to think about the context - cleaning of an actual N-NO used at scale in a process or a theoretical residue in the ng range. For the latter then it may be possible to argue on the basis of solubility and potential level that be demonstrating the absence of a guiding substance it can be argued that it would be extremely improbable to see a level of N-NO that is of concern


I agree with you that the risk posed will be low based on the concentrations of analytical standards used for analysis. However, it is best to avoid any potential exposure by implementing best practices that can be easily adopted to mitigate any future health risk.

356 / 5,000

It’s interesting that we don’t have a clearer protocol. For my part, I recommend that the workstation have a UV lamp, and that it be cleaned following a protocol similar to that described by the CDC for other substances(water+soap). To destroy the (diluted) nitrosamines, I have been destroying them in HCL or H2O2. But I don’t have 100% sure indications either.

Destruction of Nitrosamines:

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Hi Irene,
Thank you for sharing the CDC link and a publication. We are planning to wipe the fume-hood surface with 70% Isopropanol for two reasons. It is safe and it is a good solvent to dissolve most organic compounds. After the surface is wiped, we will decontaminate the area with UV.

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