Errant use of gas chromatography for area monitoring of ethylene oxide in SPD departments

In recent months, we have seen certain people touting systems using gas chromatography (provided with a photo-ionization detector) for area monitoring of ethylene oxide in Supply, Processing, and Distribution (SPD) departments. [Sometimes SPD stands for Sterile Processing Department or Sterile Processing and Distribution.] Such systems, despite their expense, were reasonably popular 15–20 years ago. However, for…

What international codes/standards specify the limiting allowable concentration of flammable, combustible, and toxic gases in indoor and outdoor industrial areas

Most codes and standards—at least regarding allowable concentrations of various substances—are promulgated by domestic jurisdictions, whether at the state/province or national governmental level. However, there are numerous international organizations that publish recommendations on best practices and safe handling of chemicals, including: International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)–which despite the name…

Using smart gas detection to comply with GSA’s indoor air quality standards

As landlord for the civilian federal government, the Public Buildings Service—a principal division of the General Services Administration (GSA)—owns and leases over 354 million square feet of space in 8,600 buildings in more than 2,200 communities nationwide. For several years, the GSA has been in the forefront of green building initiatives, and has written strong…

Using Interscan Analyzers For Method 21 Studies

EPA’s Method 21, entitled “Determination Of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks,” calls for a portable instrument to be used for this purpose, and details certain specifications and calibration requirements. “Volatile Organic Compounds,” better known as VOC’s, have been defined by EPA to mean: “[A]ny compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or…

Is there a OSHA/DOT or any guideline/regulation that tells me how many ammonia detectors are required in ammonia storage/vaporizer and unloading area?

While guidelines may exist that mandate monitoring of an area for any number of toxic compounds, no official government recommendations are made as to the detailed design of such a monitoring system. In practice, the design of a toxic gas area monitoring system results from a collaboration between the end-user, consultant(if any), monitoring system vendor,…

Is it necessary to monitor for hydrogen peroxide in a hospital sterile processing department (SPD) area under “emergency” conditions?

There are two classic aspects of toxic gas detection— a) Monitoring normal employee exposure, to determine if regulatory levels have been exceeded in the long-term b) Monitoring to warn of hazardous levels that might occur in the short term Of course, both of these functions can be handled with the same monitoring system, as long as…

Hazardous Locations

Background Gas detection instruments must often be used or installed in areas considered to be “hazardous locations.” Generically, all sorts of hazards might be recognized in a particular environment, but the term “hazardous locations,” as it applies to electrically-operated equipment refers to provisions established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and various other organizations.…