Can you tell if you are exposing your workers to Peracetic Acid?

Since Peracetic Acid (PAA) has a vinegar-like scent, you may believe you will be able to smell it if there is a leak. However, you’re not accounting for one very important thing: your nose gets tired.


“My nose gets tired? Impossible! It’s a nose and its entire point is smelling!” is what you might be thinking right now, but it's true.


Your nose is responsible for telling your brain about scents, be that the scent of some delicious pasta or the unfortunate smell of a skunk. However, your nose can become ‘blind’ to a scent if the scent is continuously there. For example, you may not notice how your house smells, but other people might comment on your fragrant candles as they walk in. Or how your child’s bedroom might smell like a gym locker room, but they can’t seem to smell it at all!


In short, your nose only tells you information about scents that are new.


Many leaks start small, releasing only a little bit of vapor, and they slowly get bigger over time. This means your nose (and brain) subconsciously get used to the leaking PAA scent, adapting the scent as ‘background noise’ that needs no heed. Thus, you and your employees can be exposed to PAA  and not even know it!


Your best course of action is to get a continuous monitoring system that allows you to ensure the concentration of PAA in the air is at safe levels. If the concentration starts to rise, the monitor will show that and if the levels ever reach harmful levels, the system’s alarms will sound, allowing you and your employees to evacuate until the area is safe to return to.


To learn more about how to protect yourself and your employees from PAA, go to: https://www.chemdaq.com/peracetic-acid/what-is-peracetic-acid


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