Low temperature sterilizers and AERs require biocidal chemicals to protect patients and hospitals from the consequences of hospital acquired infections. Sterile processing workers also need to be protected because they might be exposed to high concentrations of these chemicals every day. Occupational exposure limits have been established to ensure worker safety but a continuous monitoring system is needed to know the concentrations of toxic chemicals in the air they breathe.
Hydrogen peroxide has no odor at hazardous levels therefore it is not possible for workers to detect vapors and protect themselves. Peracetic acid has a strong odor, even below the exposure limits. However, because of olfactory fatigue, workers cannot make the distinction between safe and unsafe levels.
Accidental spills, equipment malfunction, operator error or failure of room ventilation systems are some of the events that can increase the airborne concentration of chemical vapors such as hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid.
Are You Safe? How Do You Know?
The only way to know for sure is with a continuous monitor system in place to display real time values in ppm.
ChemDAQ’s Steri-Trac Sterilant Gas Monitoring System provides the optimal solution for workplace safety assurance, protecting personnel from serious health effects associated with exposure to sterilant gases.
The Steri-Trac Area Monitors are complete, stand-alone gas monitoring instruments which display real-time PPM concentrations and annunciates alarms when exposure levels reach pre-set levels.
Area monitors work in conjunction with ChemDAQ’s Data Acquisition Computer (DAQ®), a PC-Based data acquisition and management system. The DAQ is an integral part of a multi-point, multi-gas system. It provides a centralized view of the entire system, including:
- “Impending Alerts” which provide a proactive means to alert personnel of potentially hazardous gas concentration levels
- A centralized calculation of OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL),
gas concentrations across all monitored areas
- Archival and retention of exposure data across all monitored areas
- Standalone, password protected administration console for continuous monitoring and reporting
The Steri-Trac modular design makes it easy to custom configure an installation to meet the unique design requirements of each facility’s individual needs.
- Reduced Operating Costs
Exclusive Sensor Calibration/Exchange program (SXP®) eliminates maintenance by providing factory calibrated sensors at regular intervals to ensure the integrity of your system. Eliminate the cost and inconvenience for error associated with on-site calibrations or contracts with third-party providers.
ChemDAQ’s Spot-On® ethylene oxide filter in most cases eliminates the false alarms from common background interferents such as alcohols and carbon monoxide.
- User Friendly
Color-coded graphic display makes it easy to interpret gas exposure in each individually monitored area. Touch screen makes it easy to recall exposure data, export to a local file and generate report.
Steri-trac allows hospitals to comply with CSA, OSHA, ACGIH and Joint Commission standards, as well as with AAMI recommendations.*
ChemDAQ's Area Monitors
H2O2 Remote Sensor
Brief Summary of Safety Regulations
|Compound||8 Hr Exposure Limit||15 Mins. Exposure Limit|
|Ethylene Oxide||1 ppm||5 ppm|
|Hydrogen Peroxide||1 ppm||n/a|
|Peracetic Acid||n/a||0.4 ppm|
NIOSH IDLH Values and Odor Thresholds
|Compound||NIOSH IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life & Health)||Odor Threshold|
|Ethylene Oxide||800 ppm||430 ppm|
|Hydrogen Peroxide||75 ppm||100 ppm|
The Canada labor Code imposes a legal duty on employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees.
124. Every employer shall ensure that the health and safety at work of every person employed by the employer is protected.
Control of Hazards [Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/86-304)]
10.19 (1) An employee shall be kept free from exposure to a concentration of (a) an airborne chemical agent […] in excess of the value for that chemical agent adopted by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, in its publication entitled Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices, dated 1994-1995[…].
*OSHA gas monitoring, CFR 1910.1047 & CFR 1910.1000 OSHA 30 year exposure recordkeeping,CFR 1910.1020 Joint Commission standard, EC 02.02.01 AMMI ST:41/2005 recommendations
OSHA : Occupational Safety and Health Administration
AMMI : Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease
NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists