Hazards and Risks for Chemicals in Your Workplace

Biocides are designed to kill all forms of life.  Due to their toxicity toward biological organisms, they can be hazardous to human health and careful use is required. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) have issued recommended or regulatory exposure limits for biocides. When working with biocides, it is important to monitor your surroundings to ensure the chemical vapors are at a safe level.


ChemDAQ’s gas monitors measure the biocide chemical vapors in the air for Peracetic Acid (PAA), Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and Ethylene Oxide (EtO, EO). Exposure to high concentrations of these chemicals is dangerous and poses a serious health risk. It is important to be aware of the hazards and risks associated with chemical vapor exposure.

Ethylene Oxide, Peracetic Acid, and Hydrogen Peroxide all have recommended exposure limits.  These recommended exposure limits are mandatory to monitor under the General Duty Clause.  Failure to have data regarding the recommended exposure limits can result in disciplinary actions.  These are the recommended exposure limits for these three chemicals:

Ethylene Oxide Hydrogen Peroxide Peracetic Acid
(Permissible Exposure Limit)
1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.2 ppm Cal OSHA pending
NIOSH IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) 800 ppm 75 ppm In Progress
American Conference of Governmental Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLV) 1.0 ppm 1.0 ppm 0.4 ppm

Health dangers to Peracetic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide and Ethylene Oxide

ChemDAQ chart of the health dangers to Peracetic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide and Ethylene Oxide

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