Occupational Exposure Risks to Phosgene and Other Industrial Chemicals in Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate chemical exposure hazards throughout the Caribbean.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico, June 28th, 2021 -- The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) describes phosgene (COClâ‚‚) as 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.
In World War 1, phosgene was used as a chemical weapon (choking agent) and is known by its military designation CG. Today, 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; and can also be used to separate ores.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 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.
NIOSH shares some examples of workers that may be at risk of being exposed. They 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
“The primary risk of occupational exposure to phosgene is through inhalation,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “To address this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL). To protect workers and help to keep companies in regulatory compliance in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, the industrial hygienists at Zimmetry offer testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to phosgene and many other industrial chemicals.”
Zimmetry 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 Zimmetry Environmental and their industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.