New PEL for Peracetic Acid in the Works

The California OSHA’s Health Effects Advisory Committee (HEAC) held a meeting September 5th to consider a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for peracetic acid (PAA) and ChemDAQ’s Richard Warburton attended. The Committee recognized the need for a PEL, but was concerned about the limited human exposure data relating symptoms to exposure, needed to set a good PEL.

NIOSH also recognizes the need to have an occupational exposure limit (OEL) for PAA, and is currently working on an IDLH and REL. The only OEL for PAA at the moment is the 15 minute short term exposure limit (STEL TLV) of 0.4 ppm set by the ACGIH.

The Committee is also looking for an analytical method for measuring PAA vapor and aerosol concentrations.  For routine monitoring, the ChemDAQ Steri-Trac (fixed) and SafeCide (portable) monitors provide convenient real time data for employers and regulatory agencies alike, and while the advantages of these monitors was clearly recognized by HEAC, the Committee is also looking for validated a chemical method that will be able to withstand the best efforts of defense counsel working for any employers who may be cited in the future.

The Committee orally requested information on human exposure data and analytical methods be sent to Committee Chair Garrett Keating (

Most regulatory agencies crawl along at a snail’s pace, but the HEAC is going full steam ahead. The next meeting to discuss the PEL for PAA is on December 12th 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St. 13th floor, Room 1304, Oakland, CA.