Identifying and Preventing Hydrogen Peroxide Exposure Risks in the Workplace
EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify hydrogen peroxide and other chemical compounds.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Consumer Update for people who use hydrogen peroxide contact lens solutions. The document reminds consumers to follow manufacturer’s directions and warnings to avoid affecting their vision and health.
Contact lens wearers are not the only ones who can be negatively impacted by exposure to hydrogen peroxide. A number of industries use hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations, including bleaching textiles and paper, as a component of rocket fuel and for producing foam rubber and organic chemicals.
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that hydrogen peroxide can be toxic if ingested, inhaled or comes in contact with the skin or eyes. Eye exposure to 3% hydrogen peroxide may result in pain and irritation, but severe injury is rare. More concentrated solution may result in ulceration or perforation of the cornea. Skin contact can cause irritation and temporary bleaching of the skin and hair, while contact with concentrated solutions may cause severe skin burns.
The ATSDR also states that inhalation of household strength hydrogen peroxide (3%) can cause respiratory irritation, but inhalation of vapors from concentrated (higher than 10%) solutions may result in severe pulmonary irritation. Ingestion of dilute solutions may result in vomiting, mild gastrointestinal irritation, gastric distension, and on rare occasions, gastrointestinal erosions or embolism. Ingestion of solutions of 10-20% strength produces similar symptoms, but exposed tissues may also be burned. Ingestion of even more concentrated solutions may induce rapid loss of consciousness followed by respiratory paralysis.
“There are OSHA regulations to limit worker exposure to hydrogen peroxide that are meant to protect people’s health and safety,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “For industries that utilize hydrogen peroxide, EMSL offers hydrogen peroxide sampling supplies and comprehensive analyses. These services not only protect workers from excessive exposures, but are also instrumental for keeping companies in regulatory compliance.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about hydrogen peroxide and exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/LKzLyH87T7w.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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- Contact Information
- Joseph Frasca
- Senior Vice President of Marketing
- EMSL Analytical, Inc.
- (1) 856-303-2503
- Contact via E-mail
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