Peracetic Acid Monitoring System in Hospital Endoscopy Units
Hospital technicians in endoscopy units are now being exposed to more antimicrobial sterilants than before. Chemical disinfection and sterilisation continue to play an essential role in endoscopic device processing. With equipment and instruments being sterilised multiple times per day, the risk of overexposure increases.
Peracetic Acid (PAA) is commonly used in endoscopic units because it has excellent sterile properties. However, due to the volume of sterilant used, endoscopic technicians are potentially exposed to dangerous levels with an associated risk of long lasting health effects.
The need for accurately monitoring PAA in the air has been previously identified by the NHS to safeguard technicians.
A private trust contacted a1-cbiss looking for a JAG accredited PAA monitoring system.
Endoscopic reprocessing Liquid chemical sterilisation When technicians are overexposed to PAA, it can cause some serious health issues, including pulmonary edema, permanent lung damage, skin burns, and more.
Prevention of Exposure
To prevent exposure to PAA, our monitoring systems are installed to identify airborne concentrations around the endoscopy room. Currently PAA does not have an occupational exposure limit, however, reference can be made to proposed Permitted Exposure Limits (PEL) in the United States, where the ACGIH have plans to set a short-term exposure limit (STEL) to 0.4ppm over a 15 min period.
A number of PAA sterilisation gas suppliers have also taken the lead and now state a recommended exposure limit of 0.4ppm on their datasheets.
The ChemDAQ Steri-Trac system enables you to effectively manage the breathing environment, utilising low & high level configurable alarms and a data acquisition module where the real-time readings are calculated and reported into short and long term exposure limits.
“The ChemDAQ Steri-Trac is the only system that is available for monitoring airborne PAA”
a1-cbiss perform site surveys to help specify the site requirements and the needs of the health and safety manager. On this occasion, the site survey identified that 2 sensors were required throughout the endoscopic unit.
The sensors are placed in areas where technicians are likely to be stood working to give an accurate measurement of what they’re exposed to. Some sites want to record storage areas in case there’s a leak or spillage and an alarm can provide a warning to those working nearby.
The low-level alarms are set to provide a visual warning that there is a higher level of PAA than normal, whilst the high-level alarm thresholds are set to provide both a visual and audible alarm to warn the workers and give them an indication that the area is no longer safe to work in. Once the higher level alarm has sounded, it would be recommended to exit to a safer area.
Maintaining an accurate and reliable system is easy with the SXP (Sensor Exchange program). A contract is agreed with the customer to provide new sensors every 4 months. The sensor modules are plug and play, therefore do not require expertise to replace the old with the new sensors.
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