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An Evaluation of a Workplace Hazard: Carbon Monoxide . University of Central Florida, Introduction to Industrial Hygiene EIN 6264 April 1998 Submitted by, Tim Wallace, R.S [email protected] Identification of Workplace Hazard.

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An evaluation of a workplace hazard carbon monoxide l.jpg

An Evaluation of a Workplace Hazard: Carbon Monoxide

University of Central Florida,

Introduction to Industrial Hygiene

EIN 6264

April 1998

Submitted by,

Tim Wallace, R.S

[email protected]


Identification of workplace hazard l.jpg
Identification of Workplace Hazard

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) = a chemical compound consisting of one carbon and one oxygen.

  • CO is a colorless and odorless gas at room temperature. Therefore, it has no WARNING properties!!!!

  • The most likely route of exposure is through inhalation.


Extent of hazard osha says l.jpg
Extent of Hazard-OSHA Says:

  • “Some 2,000 persons a year are killed out right by CO gas exposure”

  • “At least 10,000 more workers suffer from exposure to debilitating levels of CO”

  • “One of the most dangerous industrial hazards”

  • “One of the most widespread”


Nature of hazard l.jpg

Primarily known as an asphixiant or chemical anoxiant. This means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

CO simply disrupts the oxygen transport to all tissues in the body.

CO combines with hemoglobin in blood to form carboxyhemoglobin (COHb)

Nature of Hazard


Nature of hazard ii l.jpg
Nature of Hazard II means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

  • CO has an affinity for the oxygen binding site in the blood; 200 times more so than oxygen

  • Other Potential Hazards (Atypical): highly flammable, may form explosive mixtures when mixed in air, may react to finely dispersed metal powders to form toxic and flammable carbonyls, may react vigorously w/ oxygen, acetylene, chlorine, fluorine, nitrous oxide.

  • Other Physical Properties: BP -191ºC, MP -205°C, Explosive Limits (volume % in air) 12.5-74.2


Health effects target organs or systems l.jpg

Blood means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

Cardiovascular System

Lungs

Central Nervous System

Tissues with the highest oxygen need are first affected:

myocardium

brain

exercising muscles

Health Effects (Target Organs or Systems)


Symptoms of exposure l.jpg
Symptoms of Exposure means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body


Particularly susceptible populations l.jpg
Particularly Susceptible Populations means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

  • Elderly

  • Pregnant Women and Young Children

  • Smokers

  • Persons with existing illnesses: WHY???

    a. cardiovascular disease (heart disease, coronary artery disease)

    b. pulmonary disease (asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis)

    c. blood disorders (sickle cell anemia, lassemia, others)


Sources of co l.jpg
Sources of CO means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

  • Incomplete combustion of anything containing carbon (fossil fuels, wood, tobacco) - Especially high in exhaust from internal combustion engines.

  • CO is a metabolic product of methylene chloride (common ingredient in paints and solvents)

  • may be be produced within the body by catabolism (breakdown) of hemoglobin


Typical occupations that may experience co hazard l.jpg

fire fighters means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

garage mechanics

aircraft refuelers

truck Drivers

Kiln and furnace operators

forklift operators

lawn care workers

janitorial staff

disaster relief workers

miners

parking garage attendants

toll collectors

agricultural workers

Typical Occupations that May Experience CO Hazard


Standard methods of measurement assessment l.jpg
Standard Methods of Measurement/Assessment means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

  • Direct reading CO Detector (electro-chemical voltimetric sensor) - dataloger and calibration to known gas concentration required

  • sampling with calibrated vacuum pump through adsorption tube - laboratory analysis

  • detector tubes certified by NIOSH

  • all samples or measurements should be in the worker’s “breathing zone”


Other methods epa outside air methods l.jpg
Other Methods (EPA Outside Air Methods) means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

  • Gas Filter Correlation (GFC) - relies on infrared absorbency properties of CO at 4.7, High accuracy, greater sensitivity, more complex equipment, stationary measurement

  • Nondispersive Infrared (NDIR) - CO has a characteristic spectrum that allows it to be measured with reference to IR energy absorbed. Sensitive to drift, allows continuous datalogging, requires warm-up time, operable by non-technical personnel


Applicable ih standards l.jpg

OSHA PEL=50 ppm TWA means that the CO causes absence or abnormally low amounts of oxygen in the body

NIOSH REL=35 ppm TWA; 200 ppm ceiling

NIOSH IDLH=1,200 ppm

ACGIH TLV=25 ppm TWA

EPA NAAQS (Primary Standard) for outside air=9 ppm (TWA 8 hrs), =35 ppm (TWA 1 hr). This was established to protect public health (susceptible populations)

Applicable IH Standards


Still more tlv s international flavor l.jpg

DFG MAK (Germany) TWA = 30 ppm PEAK = 60 ppm (30 min)

Japan (JSOH) TWA = 50 ppm

HSE OES (United Kingdom) TWA = 50 ppm STEL = 300 ppm

Reference: “TLVs and Other Occupational Exposure Values”

Still More TLV’s (International Flavor)


Other guidelines l.jpg

NRC (1987) EEGLs: 10 min = 1,500 ppm 30 min = 800 ppm 60 min = 400 ppm 24 hrs = 50 ppm

NRC = National Research Council

EEGL is Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels

Canadian IAQ Residential Exposure Guidelines: <11 ppm for 8 hrs, <25 ppm for 1hr (ASTER)

WHO Concentration of Concern is >30 ppm

Other Guidelines


Co study occupation lawn care worker l.jpg

My project was a simulation of lawn care worker. 60 min = 400 ppm 24 hrs = 50 ppm

8 hour work day (~ 6 hrs of mowing)

work equipment varied

some CO exposure expected

Mowed two properties.

One property was approximately 1 acre and was mowed with push mower

2nd property was about 2.5 acres and was mowed by riding mower

CO Study, Occupation: Lawn Care Worker


Specific job duties of worker during study period l.jpg
Specific Job Duties of Worker During Study Period 60 min = 400 ppm 24 hrs = 50 ppm

  • To operate gasoline powered mowers to mow two properties

  • Edging not included

  • To obtain gas for mower if empty


Subject of study l.jpg

Question: Will CO Exposure exceed any standards or guidelines during a simulated average 8-hour work shift for an Lawn Care Worker?

There seems to be few published reports on this type of a study. Some reports focus on small gasoline engines used inside buildings where the CO is easily concentrated.

Subject of Study:


Equipment in use l.jpg
Equipment in Use guidelines during a simulated average 8-hour work shift for an Lawn Care Worker?

  • Push mower

  • riding lawn tractor

  • automobile (to move between sites)


Ih equipment used for hazard assessment l.jpg
IH Equipment Used for Hazard Assessment guidelines during a simulated average 8-hour work shift for an Lawn Care Worker?

  • Metrosonics PIM 1100 Industrial Hygiene Personal Monitor - Courtesy of Metrosonics, Inc.CO Electrochemical Oxidation Sensorwith a Heat Stress Monitor (core temperature and heart beats per minute)with Noise monitor (slow, A-weight)


Findings l.jpg
Findings guidelines during a simulated average 8-hour work shift for an Lawn Care Worker?

  • Minimum 0 ppm

  • Average 5 ppm

  • Maximum 150 ppm

  • 15 min STEL 13 ppm

  • TWA 5 ppm


Comparison to exposure guidelines and standards l.jpg
Comparison to Exposure Guidelines and Standards guidelines during a simulated average 8-hour work shift for an Lawn Care Worker?

  • The OSHA PEL TWA was not exceeded.

  • The NIOSH REL TWA was not exceeded.

  • The NIOSH Ceiling was not exceeded.

  • The ACGIH TLV was not exceeded.

  • None of the other suggested guidelines were exceeded.


Comments on data l.jpg

The momentary CO level measured during the start-up of the riding mower was elevated, however the duration of the exposure was short.

Graph of Data (available as handout)

Breaks and Lunch are distinct on data graph

Comments on Data


Possible co hazard control measures if needed l.jpg
Possible CO Hazard Control Measures (if needed) riding mower was elevated, however the duration of the exposure was short.

  • Eliminate - ex. Substitute gas mower with electric or manual mower.

  • Control Source - ex. Adjust equipment to control emissions (catalytic converters) or improve efficiency of combustion process

  • Apply appropriate ventilation or exhaust mechanism (only inside enclosures), ensure proper operation of exhausts


More co hazard control measures l.jpg
More CO Hazard Control Measures riding mower was elevated, however the duration of the exposure was short.

  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers, when sources can not be controlled or eliminated and levels are suspected as hazardous. SCBA (NIOSH specified) is often specified. Definitely applies to fire/rescue personnel.


Summary of key points l.jpg

Carbon Monoxide exposure is a serious health and safety hazard.

CO is especially a hazard in enclosed spaces

CO did not seem to be a serious hazard during normal mowing operations.

If CO levels were high and exceeded applicable TLVs, Control measures could be effectively instituted.

Summary of Key Points


Conclusion no co standards or guidelines exceeded l.jpg
Conclusion: No CO Standards or Guidelines Exceeded hazard.

  • If this simulation was representative of a normal workday of a lawn care worker, then it appears that CO does not pose a serious threat to normal healthy adults.

  • It is conceivable that that these low level exposures may cause measurable effects in susceptible individuals. More data is needed.


Note other potential hazards associated w featured occupation l.jpg

Heat Stress hazard.

Noise/Vibration

Injuries (overturned tractors, cuts, eye injuries, thrown debris)

fire (burns)

UV radiation exposure

exposure to bioaerosols (mold spores, pollen) - a problem for asthmatics and allergy sufferers

Note: Other Potential Hazards Associated w/ Featured Occupation


Note co can be a hazard in nonoccupational settings l.jpg
Note: CO can be a Hazard in Nonoccupational Settings hazard.

  • Schools

  • Homes

  • Commuting

  • Hospitals

  • Nursing Homes


Electronic resources l.jpg
Electronic Resources hazard.

  • Internet:

    • www.osha.gov/

    • www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html

    • www.epa.gov/iaq/

    • www.safety-fl.org/

    • www.acgih.org/


Acknowledgements l.jpg
Acknowledgements hazard.

  • Thanks goes to:

    • Jennifer, Ed Williams and Mary Gestaldi for use of their property (land and work equipment)

    • James Slattery from Metrosonics, Inc. for use of IH equipment


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