Although peracetic acid or PAA as it’s known is a colourless liquid, it is recognised by its strong vinegar-like odour. Inhaling airbourne vapours of peracetic acid can cause immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. We explore the dangers of peracetic acid and what you need to do to get protected.
- Properties – Peracetic acid is a colourless liquid that has a pungent vinegar-like odour that can be smelt at very low levels.
- Dangers – At concentrations of 15% or higher, it could give rise to fire and explosion hazards and reactivity issues. If you are working around PAA and do not smell it, it’s more than likely it is due to olfactory fatigue. Olfactory fatigue is also known as nose blindness or odour fatigue.
- Exposure Limits – PAA has a proposed STEL (15 min average) of 0.4ppm and a TWA (8 hours) of 0.15ppm.
- Where is it found? – The use of PAA leaves no harmful residue, which makes it a popular chemical of choice when looking for a food-safe antimicrobial. It’s commonly used in manufacturing bottling plants, food packaging and endoscopic units for disinfection of medical devices.
- Symptoms – Inhaling airbourne vapours of peracetic acid can cause immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract
- What to do in the event of exposure? Move away from the hazardous area to a new location with lots of fresh air. If the skin has come into contact with PAA, wash with lots of soap and water. If eyes are burning (remove contacts) and rinse with clean water for at least 10 minutes.
What actions should be taken to stay safe? It is highly recommended to use a combination of continuous fixed area monitoring and portable area monitoring to find danger zones throughout any facility that uses Peracetic Acid.
The Steri-Trac 2 is our recommended continuous fixed area monitor.
Steri-Trac2 has a number of improvements compared to version 1:
- > TWA and STEL display
- > Removeable SD card
- > Interchangeable sensors
The SafeCide is a new portable monitoring device which has recently been launched in the European market. It allows workers to see real-time data and use as part of their daily routine checks and random spot checks.