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…

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…

Complying with 40 CFR Part 63 subpart WWWWW–National Emission Standards for Hospital Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers

Background In the continuing regulatory assault on ethylene oxide, more rules now apply. Fortunately, these latest statutes are not at all difficult to comply with. The new rule is called “National Emission Standards for Hospital Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers.” It was published on 28 December 2007 as 40 CFR Part 63, with particular notice given to…

Where should I set the alarms on my toxic gas monitoring system?

Ultimately, the entire matter of where to set the instantaneous concentration alarm(s) is tied into what is expected by the regulatory agency. In the United States, for most workplace environments, it is the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA has published Permissible Exposure Limits, or PEL’s, for many toxic substances. Three types of PEL’s…