ChemDAQ Steri-Trac® PAA Gas Detection System Effective for Monitoring New ACGIH Standards to Ensure Worker Safety

ChemDAQ PAA Vapor Monitoring System Capable of Detecting New ACGIH STEL of 0.4 ppm to Ensure Worker Safety During Sterilization and Disinfection Using Peracetic Acid

PITTSBURGH, PA – February 18, 2014:  Pittsburgh-based ChemDAQ Corporation announced today that the company is responding to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recent announcement of new standards for employee exposure to Peracetic acid with its Steri-Trac® vapor monitoring system. Steri-Trac ensures the safe use of Peracetic Acid by alerting workers to harmful levels of vapor, thereby protecting workers from the harmful accumulative effects of exposure during disinfection and sterilization processes.
Risks of continued exposure to PAA can result in severe eye, throat and sinus irritation, pulmonary edema, liver and kidney problems, epigastric pain and circulatory collapse and other health problems, which may not be detected for months or even years.

According to ChemDAQ President and CEO David Hilliker.  “Having an Occupational Exposure Limit of 0.4 parts per million (ppm) is a critical first step, but to make it useful there must be an accurate way to measure concentrations of PAA vapor,” he said. The company’s ChemDAQ PAA Monitor has a digital resolution of 0.01 ppm, and a minimum detection limit of 0.04 ppm. The monitor is well suited for use for ensuring workers are not exposed above the new ACGIH Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL) of 0.4 ppm.”

Peracetic Acid or Peroxyacetic Acid (PAA) (CH3C(O)OOH is a strong oxidizer commonly used in hospital sterilization departments and food processors in concentrations that may be hazardous to workers if exposed.

PAA is highly effective in the sterilization of medical equipment to protect patients.  It is also widely used as a microbial intervention in the processing of meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables for food safety.  It is also used in aseptic bottling of low acid beverages such as dairy products to eliminate the need for refrigeration.  This saves energy costs for shipping and storage, which is also good for the environment.

“PAA is in such high demand because it is a very efficient antimicrobial chemical,” said ChemDAQ Chief Technology Officer P. Richard Warburton, Ph.D, J.D.  “It rapidly breaks down in food, on the medical device or in the environment to harmless acetic acid (vinegar), oxygen and water. Because of the lack of residues, PAA can even be applied to organic foods.  However, the biocidal properties that make PAA essential to food production and healthcare also make it hazardous to anyone exposed to it over time,” Warburton said.

“As a relatively new sterilization method, there have been no Occupation Exposure Limits (OELs),” Warburton explained. “The lack of any OEL guidelines meant that employers, chemical suppliers and equipment manufacturers who wanted to protect workers using this essential chemical were unsure what exposure was safe and what was not.”

The ACGIH standards are an important step in creating ‘Best Practices’ in the handling of PAA. The ACGIH is a highly respected non-governmental industrial hygiene organization. The U.S. Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) PELs were initially adopted from the 1968 ACGIH Threshold Limit Value’s (TLV) and in many countries, including several Canadian provinces, the legal exposure limits directly reference the current ACGIH TLVs.

Steri-Trac is a real time continuous monitoring system with large 3-color display and 2-user settable alarm levels.  The Steri-Trac monitors can be integrated with the DAQ Data Acquisition System for data logging, reporting and central display of all monitoring points, including time weighted averages for recording cumulative exposures like the ACGIH STEL.

For more information on the ChemDAQ PAA Vapor Monitoring System call: 800-245-3310 Ext. 530 or

About ChemDAQ Corporation:

ChemDaq, based in Pittsburgh, PA, ChemDAQ Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and sells fixed gas detection systems for underserved markets such as healthcare, medical device manufacturing and the food and beverage industries.

ChemDAQ ensures the continued safe use of biocidal chemicals that protect patients from Hospital Acquired infection (HAI) and consumers from foodborne illnesses. As a provider of best in class environmental monitoring solutions ChemDAQ protects workers from exposure to hazardous levels of chemical biocides in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. For more information, visit