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NIOSH Reevaluating Proposed Paracetic Acid IDLH Value

Friday, March 31, 2017

NIOSH is seeking data and information through a request for information published earlier this month to help the agency characterize and assess the health risk of occupational exposure to peracetic acid. Peracetic acid is a highly corrosive, highly reactive, and unstable organic peroxide-based compound commonly used for the disinfection of medical supplies and in food industries, particularly to prevent bio film in pulp industries. It can also be applied during water purification as a disinfectant.

Currently, there is no NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL), or OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL). However, there is an ACGIH threshold limit value–short-term exposure limit (TLV-STEL) of 0.4 ppm (1.24 mg/m3) and EPA established acute exposure guideline level (AEGL) values.

In 2015, NIOSH published a draft immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) value for peracetic acid of 0.64ppm (1.4 mg/m3). Upon publishing this draft, the agency received comments asserting the proposed value was overprotective and the available data was of low quality. Furthermore, the comments raised issues related to sampling and analysis of air samples.

NIOSH requests information on and comments related to workplace exposure data for peracetic acid, and workplaces and products in which it may be found. The agency is also looking for descriptions of work tasks and scenarios with potential for exposure, and reports and findings from in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies. Information on sampling and analytical methods, control measures being used to protect workers from exposure, engineering controls, work practices, and PPE is encouraged.

The comment period ends on June 5, 2017. For more information, see the Federal Register.

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