White rabbits have been widely used as the irritation is easy to detect and the results have been shown to be highly predictive of potential skin effects in humans. Data obtained with other strains or species can also be used in the determination of irritation potential. The HCS classifies chemical agents as toxic or highly toxic based on the number of deaths that occur following brief exposure of rodents. The difference in the two categories is strictly the dose at which the toxicity occurs.
You should recognize that complete and reliable data must be entered on MSDSs and labels in order to meet HCS requirements. Before the search for hazard data can begin, however, you must identify the exact chemical composition of the chemical or products manufactured or imported. For mixtures or products, this chemical search includes the name of each chemical in the mixture, including active ingredients, inactive ingredients, and impurities. If a chemical inventory is not already in place, a good start would be to review purchase orders and receipts to create pollen allergy an initial inventory. Next, the workplace should be inspected to identify any additional chemicals present.
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It would be ideal to note the location and quantity of each chemical found. Chemical inventories are often maintained as computer files for ease and efficiency in keeping them current. With knowledge of the chemicals in your possession, hazard determinations can now be performed for chemicals in the inventory. The chemical inventory or survey can also be used to decide which chemicals to dispose of as well as to identify potentially unsafe storage areas and techniques. Some chemicals should not be stored near each other due to incompatibilities and potential reactions.
The ultimate goal in the hazard determination process is to know and document the hazards of all covered chemicals you manufacture or import. In order to achieve this you must first determine which chemicals require a hazard determination. The logical way to do this is to first prepare an inventory of all chemicals manufactured or imported.
Hazard evaluation relies on professional judgment, particularly in the area of chronic hazards. The performance-orientation of the HCS does not diminish the duty of the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer to conduct a thorough evaluation, examining all relevant data and producing a scientifically defensible determination. In the sections that follow, a discussion of data needs for the three categories of information is provided. Also, a few recommended key references for the various types of data are listed.
If an immunologic mechanism is responsible for the tissue reaction, the material will be classified as a sensitizer rather than an irritant. Examples of irritants are acetic acid, ammonia, and isopropyl alcohol. The standard toxicology test for inflammation consists of the application of a substance to the shaved skin of white rabbits.
- In addition, pursuant to Section 5, the General Duty Clause of the Act, employers must provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
- Pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must comply with safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan.
- Employers can be cited for violating the General Duty Clause if there is a recognized hazard and they do not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard.
- It is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.
- This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations.
Items exempted from coverage under the HCS may be excluded from the inventory. For chemicals obtained from suppliers, you may rely upon the MSDSs and labels provided by the chemical manufacturer or importer.
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For example, benzene has explicit boiling and flashpoints of 176ºF and 12ºF , respectively. In contrast, the properties of the complex mixture, Stoddard Solvent, can vary considerably depending on the manufacturer and lot received, with ranges for boiling and flashpoints of ºF and ºF, respectively. The hazard determination requirements of the HCS are performance oriented.
However, you may choose to conduct hazard determinations for those chemicals if you are concerned about the adequacy of the hazard information you have received. Generally speaking, the chemical and physical properties and hazards of pure elements and chemical compounds are precise and constant.
Exposure is by the three major workplace exposure routes, mouth , skin , or breathing . The analysis is based on the LD50 and LC50 (median lethal inhalation concentration for a one-hour exposure. The LD50 and LC50 represent the dose or concentration, respectively, at which 50% of the test animals will be expected to die. For example, sodium and potassium, when exposed to water, will react and release hydrogen, presenting an explosive hazard. Carbides (e.g. , calcium carbide) can generate acetylene, a flammable gas, when exposed to water. In other cases, the gases released may be highly toxic, as in the case of cyanide that can be released when an inorganic salt containing cyanide (e.g. , potassium cyanide) comes in contact with water.