Cinnaminson, NJ, June 17th
) is a colorless nonflammable gas that has the odor of freshly cut hay. It is a manufactured chemical and as a gas at room temperature (70º F) is heavier than air but is sometimes stored as a liquid under pressure or refrigeration.
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports it is used in the manufacture of other chemicals such as dyestuffs, isocyanates, polycarbonates, and acid chlorides; it is also used in the manufacture of pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Phosgene can also be used to separate ores. In World War 1 it was used as a chemical weapon as a choking agent and is known by its military designation CG.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that workers may be harmed from exposure to phosgene. Exposure may cause irritation to the eyes, dry burning throat, vomiting, cough, foamy sputum, breathing difficulty, and chest pain, and when a liquid, frostbite. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that exposure to phosgene may also cause delayed effects that may not be apparent for up to 48 hours.
Examples of workers that may be at risk of being exposed according to NIOSH include:
- Workers in plants where dyes are manufactured
- Manufacturing workers who use it in the production of polymers
- Workers who use it to make pesticides
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing workers in production plants
- Workers who use it to separate ores
- Welders who use it to clean with chlorinated solvents
“To protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for phosgene, and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL),” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL’s industrial hygiene laboratories offer testing services, sampling supplies, and personal protective equipment to identify and mitigate potential exposure risks to phosgene and many other industrial chemicals.”
EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about phosgene and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/KYFEskM01_4.
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health and safety testing services, sampling supplies and products, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675, or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.