Cinnaminson, New Jersey, March 11th
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes sulfuric acid as a corrosive substance, destructive to the skin, eyes, teeth and lungs, with severe exposure potentially resulting in death. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has also determined that occupational exposure to strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid is carcinogenic.
Sulfuric acid is used in many industries. For example, it is used to produce other chemicals, fertilizers, explosives, and glue; to refine petroleum; to cure metal; and can be found in lead-based car batteries. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to sulfuric acid according to NIOSH include:
- Outdoor workers who work in areas where coal, oil, or gas are burned
- Mechanics who handle dirty batteries
- Plumbers and contractors who come in contact with toilet bowl cleaners mixed with water
- Workers in publishing, printing, or photography shops
- Fire fighters and steelworkers who are exposed to acid mists
Touching sulfuric acid will burn the skin and breathing sulfuric acid can result in tooth erosion and respiratory tract irritation reports the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The agency goes on to state that drinking sulfuric acid can burn the mouth, throat and stomach, which can result in death. If a worker gets sulfuric acid in the eyes, it will cause the eyes to water and burn.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for sulfuric acid and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) to help protect workers,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL Analytical, we offer industrial hygiene and environmental testing services to detect and monitor for occupational exposure risks to sulfuric acid and many other chemical hazards. Our testing facilities, located across the United States and Canada, also provide sampling supplies, respirators and other personal protective equipment to support health and safety programs.”
EMSL Analytical recently sponsored an educational video about sulfuric acid and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/R0AJv0vr_E8
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental, health and safety services, 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.