High EH&S Consulting's Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) and other professionals can provide expert services for your organization by monitoring chemical exposures in air or other mediums. By using various sampling methods we will determine the level of chemical exposure in your workplace and compare these results to the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLV). For chemicals without established occupational exposure limits, we are able to evaluate other sources for chemical hazard data such as EPA's reference doses and determine a comparative value.
High EH&S consulting maintains a wide array of industrial hygiene equipment including personal sampling pumps, impingers, cyclones, inhalable samplers, high-volume samplers and various direct read instruments (photo-ionization detectors, particle counters, gas detection equipment) and related media. If you appreciate technical accuracy, detailed guidance and reports which will provide actual value in compliance situations, you will be pleased with the report that we deliver. We will evaluate your situation including the processes and the chemicals involved to develop a representative sampling plan. As we assess employee chemical exposure through full-shift monitoring as needed, we also evaluate ventilation systems and other control measures in place at the facility. You will receive clear direction on actions to take (if any) in our report.
When should you evaluate for chemical exposure in the workplace?
- When employees have complaints about chemical exposures or health effects.
- When the employer is concerned about the well-being and long-term health of his or her employees.
- When required by an OSHA standard. OSHA regulates a number of substances, most of which require baseline air monitoring and depending on the results, need some type of periodic monitoring. OSHA also requires exposures to be below the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for many more substances that are regulated.
- OSHA mandates that companies who require their employees to wear respirators must know the levels of chemical contaminant present. This typically requires sampling or exposure modeling.
- To determine if control measures which were put in place are effective.
- When work processes change or work hours increase to determine if over-exposures are occurring as a result of new changes.
- When specialized or complex exposure assessments need to be completed
- When the materials involved have very low exposure limits.
When are you REQUIRED to conduct air monitoring?
Anytime respiratory protection is provided in a non-voluntary situation, OSHA requires that the employer determine the exposure level of the contaminant. This is to assure that the respirator provided will provide an adequate level of protection. Other methods of exposure determination can be used such as modeling or historical data, but these have some notable drawbacks which limits their use. We can do chemical exposure modeling when these approaches are likely to provide appropriate assessments of the environment.
If you use or have exposure to any regulated substances. This includes potential generation of Chromium VI (stainless steel welding, chrome plating); Use of Lead, Formaldehyde, Cadmium, Arsenic, Vinyl Chloride, Benzene, 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), acrylonitrile, ethylene oxide, Methylenedianiline, 1,3-Butadiene or Methylene Chloride requires organizations to conduct preliminary hazard assessments. These chemicals may be contained in other products such as solvents, paints and other products used in the workplace.
In addition to the regulated substances listed above, OSHA also regulates 13 carcinogens. For these substances respiratory protection is specified and therefore, air monitoring is necessary to assure proper protection. These substances are: 4-Nitrobiphenyl, alpha-Naphthylamine, methyl chloromethyl ether, 3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts), bis-Chloromethyl ether, beta-Naphthylamine, Benzidine, 4-Aminodiphenyl, Ethyleneimine, beta-Propiolactone, 2-Acetylaminofluorene, 4-Dimethylaminoazo-benzene and N-Nitrosodimethylamine.
Starting an Industrial Hygiene Program
High EH&S staff can meet with you and review your operations for potential chemical exposure hazards which could impact the workforce years in the future by the expression of disease. These latent risk exposures may have little immediate impacts, but in the future may significantly affect the quality of life. Based on your chemical use profile we can develop a plan of periodic and regular monitoring of the workplace exposures. This approach will help to minimize future liability and future disease risk for your employees, while assuring OSHA compliance. We can develop written programs which define what substances present concern and providing a game plan for monitoring these risks.
Our hygiene chemical reports are reviewed by one of our Certified Industrial Hygienists to assure accuracy and technical validity. In addition, our reports are comprehensive, providing a complete summary of calibration data, site conditions, exposure activities, sampling methodologies and recommendations. In comparison, some of our competitors provide 2 to 5 page reports which lack the required detail to be valuable in any defensible legal action, not to mention future evaluation of similar conditions. Additionally, our reports provide detailed recommendations for compliance and control methods to assist you in understanding the exact steps to be taken for compliance. We also include employee notification letters to assist you meeting your obligation of informing employees of these findings.
Lisa Bolin, CIH, CSP, CIAQP, Manager of Environmental Health and Hygiene for more information on chemical hygiene services.