Are there any documents available that provide a framework or guidance on when a gas detection system should be installed?

It should be noted that long before OSHA, and long before direct-reading instruments were available, people were doing toxic gas detection to protect their employees; combustible gas detection to protect their employees and their facilities; and, of course, they also did this to obtain lower insurance rates. These days, though, you can count on government…

An early study found hydrogen peroxide emissions in sterile processing departments

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 or simply “peroxide”) has long been the subject of regulatory agency interest. The current allowable 8-hour time weighted average of 1 ppm dates back to 1978, if not earlier. The signs and symptoms of acute exposure to hydrogen peroxide include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, ranging from mild bronchitis…

Predominant EtO Monitoring Methods Used By Hospitals

Gas detection methods have been changing and evolving and awareness has heightened as well, along with the ever changing methods of sterilization. To answer your question regarding what “most” hospitals are using to monitor EtO, a fair response would be narrowed down to either electrochemical sensors or gas chromatographs (GCs). Interscan has sold close to…

Our commentary on OSHA’s Small Business Guide for Ethylene Oxide

On 30 April 2009, OSHA released a comprehensive document entitled “Small Business Guide for Ethylene Oxide.” This new publication is available as a spiffy pdf (14.2 MB) or as a more browsable web page. The agency considers it to be a “guidance document,” in that it is advisory in nature, is informational in content, and…

New requirements for EtO usage

EPA and FIFRA While most matters regarding occupational exposure to toxic compounds—in the United States—fall under the purview of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), in some cases, other federal agencies are also involved. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 United States Code §§ 136-136y (2008), the EPA has re-registered…

If an EtO area monitor is installed, are bi-weekly leak tests still required?

The original reference for periodic leak testing comes from 29 CFR 1910.1047 App A, and is entitled “Substance safety data sheet for ethylene oxide (non-mandatory).” Section VII-2-i of the document states: Leak detection. Sterilizer door gaskets, cylinder and vacuum piping, hoses, filters, and valves must be checked for leaks under full pressure with a Fluorocarbon…

EtO continuous monitoring systems versus monitoring badges

Monitoring badges are integrating rather than real-time devices, yielding an accumulated value—often incorrectly interpreted as an “average”—calculated over the time period the badge was active. The advantage of real time monitoring is that it WILL keep track of spikes and excursions, while a badge will merely accumulate this information into the total. Since OSHA does…