Using Glutaraldehyde and Glutaraldehyde Hazards,
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when using glutaraldehyde
The hazard: Glutaraldehyde is a toxic chemical that is used for cold sterilization of medical and dental equipment. It is in Cidex and other products. Glutaraldehyde can cause severe irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, nausea, headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness. It can cause difficult breathing and other severe allergic reactions in workers who have become sensitized to glutaraldehyde.
Who is at risk when glutaraldehyde: Workers who use glutaraldehyde to sterilize instruments and other tasks.
Prevention when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments:: Avoid using glutaraldehyde by using other chemicals or processes, enclose operations and use local exhaust ventilation, store and handle properly, use respirators and other personal protective equipment.
Laws when glutaraldehyde: There is no Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that exposure to glutaraldehyde be under 0.2 ppm (parts per million).
WHAT IS GLUTARALDEHYDE when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments?
Glutaraldehyde is a colorless liquid used to sterilize medical and dental equipment. It is in products including Cidex, Glutarex, and Sonacide. Glutaraldehyde is also used in leather tanning and water treatment, and as a chemical preservative.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GLUTARALDEHYDE when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments ?
Short term (acute) effects when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments:: Contact with liquid and vapor can severely irritate the eyes, and at higher concentrations burns the skin. Breathing glutaraldehyde can irritate the nose, throat, and respiratory tract, causing coughing and wheezing. Exposure to glutaraldehyde can cause nausea, headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness.
Long-term (chronic) effects when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments: Glutaraldehyde is a sensitizer. This means some workers will become very sensitive to glutaraldehyde and have strong reactions if they are exposed to even small amounts. Workers may get sudden asthma attacks with difficult breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. Prolonged exposure can cause a skin allergy and chronic eczema, and afterwards, exposure to small amounts produces severe itching and skin rashes.
WHO IS AT RISK when glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments?
Health care workers who use glutaraldehyde to cold sterilize medical, surgical, and dental devices. Glutaraldehyde is also used in tissue embalming, during X-ray film processing, and in electron microscopy. It is also commonly used in the paper and tanning industries, in the manufacture of adhesives and sealants, and as a biocide in water cooling towers.
when using glutaraldehyde HOW CAN EXPOSURE BE PREVENTED?
When using glutaraldehyde Avoid using the product (substitution: Where possible, the use of glutaraldehyde should be avoided by using less toxic chemicals or other processes for sterilization.
when using glutaraldehyde Use equipment to avoid exposure (engineering controls): Glutaraldehyde should be used in a contained process along with local exhaust ventilation. Automate when using glutaraldehyde for cleaning surgical instruments the transfer of pure glutaraldehyde (crystal form) or pump liquid glutaraldehyde from drums or other storage containers to process containers and operations.
Work practices: The following steps can reduce exposure: When using glutaraldehyde Store glutaraldehyde in closed containers in well ventilated areas. Post signs to remind staff to replace lids after using product. When using glutaraldehyde Change into clean clothes if clothing becomes contaminated. Do NOT take contaminated clothing home. When using glutaraldehyde Use eye wash fountains and emergency showers if there is skin contact with glutaraldehyde. Wash or shower for at least 15 minutes to remove chemical. when using glutaraldehyde Do not eat, drink or smoke in any area where glutaraldehyde is handled or stored. When using glutaraldehyde Use a vacuum or wet method to reduce dust during clean up for pure glutaraldehyde. DO NOT DRY SWEEP. when using glutaraldehyde Respirators and protective gear (personal protective equipment): In addition to substituting other products, engineering controls and work practices, when using glutaraldehyde respirators or other personal protective equipment (PPE) may be necessary. When using glutaraldehyde Gloves made of butyl rubber, neoprene or viton materials.
when using glutaraldehyde Protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, etc.) should be clean, available each day, and put on before work begins When using glutaraldehyde Eye protection: for pure glutaraldehyde wear impact resistant eye protection with side shield or goggles. Wear indirect-vent impact and splash resistant When using glutaraldehyde goggles when working with liquids. When using glutaraldehyde Respirators: as part of a written respiratory protection program that includes worker training, fit-testing, and medical exams. A positive pressure supplied air respirator is needed if other control measures do not keep exposure below 0.2 ppm.
WHAT LAWS TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM GLUTARALDEHYDE when using glutaraldehyde?
There is no Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that exposure to glutaraldehyde be under 0.2 ppm ( parts per million). The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
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