Every day, many types of workers are exposed to chemicals in the workplace. The following is a breakdown of commonly used chemicals, where they are used, and exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), or other regulatory organizations.
When employers establish an employee monitoring program and keep accurate monitoring records, safety and compliance issues are eliminated.
Commonly Used Chemicals: halothane (Fluothane®), enflurane (Ethrane®), isoflurane (Forane®), desflurane (Suprane®), and sevoflurane (Ultane®)
Where they are used: Operating rooms, PACU, veterinary clinics
Exposure limit: NIOSH recommends that no worker be exposed at concentrations greater than 2 ppm over a sampling period of greater than one hour (1977).
Recommended product: H-10-3 Halogenated Anesthetic Vapor Monitor
Exposure limit: The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has set the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) at 50 ppm.
NIOSH has set a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 25 ppm.
Recommended product: N-10 Nitrous Oxide Monitor
Where it is used: Laboratories, operating rooms, labor and delivery, morgues, and funeral homes
Exposure limits: Using a Time Weighted Average (TWA), an employee shouldn’t be exposed to airborne formaldehyde at levels greater than 0.75 ppm over an eight-hour period.
Using the Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL), an employee shouldn’t be exposed to airborne formaldehyde at levels greater than 2 ppm for greater than 15 minutes
Recommended product: F-50 Formaldehyde Vapor Monitor
Where it is used: Histology labs
Exposure limit: OSHA recommends a TWA of no greater than 100 ppm over an eight-hour period.
Recommended product: OV-115 Xylene Vapor Monitor
Exposure limits: NIOSH recommends an exposure limit of no greater than 0.2 ppm.
ACGIH recommends a threshold limit of 0.05 ppm.
Recommended product: G-10 Glutaraldehyde Vapor Monitor
Airborne Hydrogen Peroxide, Ortho-Phthalaldehyde (OPA), Peracetic Acid, or a Combination
Exposure limit: OSHA recommends a TWA of no greater than 1 ppm over an eight-hour period.
Exposure limits: OSHA recommends a TWA of no greater than 1 ppm over an eight-hour period
NIOSH recommends a TWA of less than 0.1 ppm over an eight -hour period.
ACGIH recommends a TWA of no greater than 1 ppm over an eight-hour period.
ACGIH recommends a short-term exposure limit of 5 ppm for no longer than 15 minutes.
Recommended product: E-50 Ethylene Oxide Vapor Monitor
Commonly used chemicals: Benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, styrene, acetone, MIK, and many other VOCs
VOCs can be found in new or renovated homes, manufactured homes, commercial buildings, RVs, and factories.
Recommended products: OV-00 Organic Vapor Monitor, OV-00F Full Scan Organic Vapor Monitor, OV-00IF Full Scan Organic Vapor Monitor for Indoor Air Quality, OV-095 BTEX + Saturated Hydrocarbon Vapor Monitor, and F-50I Formaldehyde Vapor Monitor for Indoor Air Quality