OSHA Publishes Ethylene Oxide Exposure Monitoring Guidance

Ethylene oxide exposure levels and monitoring requirements are addressed in OSHA's recently published Small Business Guide for Ethylene Oxide. The guidance document helps employers understand the ethylene oxide (EtO) standard and explains how to monitor the air quality in workplaces where EtO is processed, used, or handled.

The document includes clarification of the various types of EtO exposure monitoring, lists and explains the exposure levels used by OSHA, and provides an outline of what employers should do when monitoring shows EtO exposure levels exceed the allowable limits.

"Because ethylene oxide cannot be detected by sight or smell, workers can be exposed to dangerous levels and not realize it," said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "Understanding OSHA's EtO standard is vital to ensuring that employers know how to measure exposure levels so that workers are not exposed to potentially serious illnesses."

The odorless, colorless EtO gas is widely used in hospitals to sterilize surgical equipment. Among other common products, EtO also is found in antifreeze, detergents, adhesives, and spices. Short-term exposure to EtO can cause difficulty breathing and nausea, among other symptoms. Long-term exposure can cause more severe conditions such as damage to the nervous system and cancer.

Product Showcase

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

  • EMSL Analytical, Inc. - Air Sampling Supplies & Testing Labs

    EMSL Analytical, Inc. operates laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for Asbestos, Mold, Silica, Lead & Metals, Bacteria, Legionella, USP , Combustion By-Products, VOC’s, Radon, PCB’s, Formaldehyde, METH/Fentanyl, Identification of Dust & Unknowns. Sampling Pumps, Cassettes, Media & Supplies available. Reach us at 1-800.220.3675 3

  • Full Line of Defense Against Combustible Dust Nilfisk

    Nilfisk provides a comprehensive range of industrial vacuums meticulously crafted to adhere to NFPA 652 housekeeping standards, essential for gathering combustible dust in Class I, Group D, and Class II, Groups E, F & G environments or non-classified settings. Our pneumatic vacuums are meticulously engineered to fulfill safety criteria for deployment in hazardous surroundings. Leveraging advanced filtration technology, Nilfisk ensures the secure capture of combustible materials scattered throughout your facility, ranging from fuels, solvents, and metal dust to flour, sugar, and pharmaceutical powders. 3

Featured

Webinars