March 29, 2017
A ChemDAQ technician was providing an in service to a hospital to install the ChemDAQ products and train the sterile processing technicians on how to use them. The Steri-Trac continuous monitor for hydrogen peroxide was installed for the hydrogen peroxide sterilizer that the customer was using. The end of a cycle occurred, and the technician opened the door to the sterilizer. The monitor went into immediate alarm, showing readings above 8.0 ppm (OSHA PEL is 1.0 ppm). The technician immediately evacuated the area until the reading on the Steri-Trac monitor reached safe levels.
The technicians were in much surprise that the sterilizer was leaking because they assumed that they would be able to smell it. One technician even mentioned that she had a rash on her arm that she thought may be connected to the Hydrogen Peroxide exposure. Hydrogen peroxide has almost no odor, even at very dangerous levels. The only way to detect if it’s in the air is with a real-time monitoring system.