Agent Name

Subtilisins

CAS Number

1395-21-7; 9014-01-1

Major Category

Biological Agents

Synonyms

Bacillus subtilis; Bacillus subtilis BPN; Bacillus subtilis Carlsburg; Proteolytic enzymes; Subtilisin BPN; Subtilisin Carlsburg; [NIOSH]

Category

Enzymes

Description

Light-colored, free-flowing powders. [Note: A protein containing numerous amino acids.]; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Commercial proteolytic enzymes are used in laundry detergents; [NIOSH] Proteolytic enzymes from Bacillus subtilis were first used in detergent products in the 1960s. [Malo]

Comments

Occupational asthma reported in detergent industry; Study of 1642 workers found prevalence of 3.2% (over 7 years); [Malo] Causes "washing powder lung," a form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis from exposure to detergents that contain enzymes produced by the nonthermophilic bacteria (Bacillus subtilis & B. cereus); [Rosenstock, p. 346]

Reference Link

Safe use of detergent enzymes in the workplace

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

Ceiling (ACGIH)

6.006E-5 mg/m3, as 100% crystalline active pure enzyme

Adverse Effects
Asthma

Yes

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: