General Occupational Health Standards

Table of Contents

Air Contaminants (Specific)
Chapter 296-62 WAC, Part I (Continued)

WAC 296-62-07523 Benzene.

Effective March 1, 2005, this rule has been moved to Chapter 296-849 WAC, Benzene.


WAC 296-62-07525 Appendix A substance safety data sheet--Benzene.

(1) Substance identification.

(a) Substance: Benzene.

(b) Permissible exposure: Except as to the use of gasoline, motor fuels, and other fuels subsequent to discharge from bulk terminals and other exemptions specified in chapter 296-849 WAC:

(i) Airborne: The maximum time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limit is one part of benzene vapor per million parts of air (1 ppm) for an eight-hour workday and the maximum short-term exposure limit (STEL) is 5 ppm for any fifteen-minute period.

(ii) Dermal: Eye contact shall be prevented and skin contact with liquid benzene shall be limited.

(c) Appearance and odor: Benzene is a clear, colorless liquid with a pleasant, sweet odor. The odor of benzene does not provide adequate warning of its hazard.

(2) Health hazard data.

(a) Ways in which benzene affects your health. Benzene can affect your health if you inhale it, or if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. Benzene is also harmful if you happen to swallow it.

(b) Effects of overexposure.

(i) Short-term (acute) overexposure: If you are overexposed to high concentrations of benzene, well above the levels where its odor is first recognizable, you may feel breathless, irritable, euphoric, or giddy; you may experience irritation in eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. You may develop a headache, feel dizzy, nauseated, or intoxicated. Severe exposures may lead to convulsions and loss of consciousness.

(ii) Long-term (chronic) exposure. Repeated or prolonged exposure to benzene, even at relatively low concentrations, may result in various blood disorders, ranging from anemia to leukemia, an irreversible, fatal disease. Many blood disorders associated with benzene exposure may occur without symptoms.

(3) Protective clothing and equipment.

(a) Respirators. Respirators are required for those operations in which engineering controls or work practice controls are not feasible to reduce exposure to the permissible level. However, where employers can document that benzene is present in the workplace less than thirty days a year, respirators may be used in lieu of engineering controls. If respirators are worn, they must have joint Mine Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seal of approval, and cartridge or canisters must be replaced before the end of their service life, or the end of the shift, whichever occurs first. If you experience difficulty breathing while wearing a respirator, you may request a positive pressure respirator from your employer. You must be thoroughly trained to use the assigned respirator, and the training will be provided by your employer.

(b) Protective clothing. You must wear appropriate protective clothing (such as boots, gloves, sleeves, aprons, etc.,) over any parts of your body that could be exposed to liquid benzene.

(c) Eye and face protection. You must wear splash-proof safety goggles if it is possible that benzene may get into your eyes. In addition, you must wear a face shield if your face could be splashed with benzene liquid.

(4) Emergency and first aid procedures.

(a) Eye and face exposure. If benzene is splashed in your eyes, wash it out immediately with large amounts of water. If irritation persists or vision appears to be affected see a doctor as soon as possible.

(b) Skin exposure. If benzene is spilled on your clothing or skin, remove the contaminated clothing and wash the exposed skin with large amounts of water and soap immediately. Wash contaminated clothing before you wear it again.

(c) Breathing. If you or any other person breathes in large amounts of benzene, get the exposed person to fresh air at once. Apply artificial respiration if breathing has stopped. Call for medical assistance or a doctor as soon as possible. Never enter any vessel or confined space where the benzene concentration might be high without proper safety equipment and at least one other person present who will stay outside. A life line should be used.

(d) Swallowing. If benzene has been swallowed and the patient is conscious, do not induce vomiting. Call for medical assistance or a doctor immediately.

(5) Medical requirements. If you are exposed to benzene at a concentration at or above 0.5 ppm as an 8-hour time-weighted average, or have been exposed at or above 10 ppm in the past while employed by your current employer, your employer is required to provide a medical examination and history and laboratory tests within sixty days of the effective date of this standard and annually thereafter. These tests shall be provided without cost to you. In addition, if you are accidentally exposed to benzene (either by ingestion, inhalation, or skin/eye contact) under emergency conditions known or suspected to constitute toxic exposure to benzene, your employer is required to make special laboratory tests available to you.

(6) Observation of monitoring. Your employer is required to perform measurements that are representative of your exposure to benzene and you or your designated representative are entitled to observe the monitoring procedure. You are entitled to observe the steps taken in the measurement procedure, and to record the results obtained. When the monitoring procedure is taking place in an area where respirators or personal protective clothing and equipment are required to be worn, you or your representative must also be provided with, and must wear the protective clothing and equipment.

(7) Access to records. You or your representative are entitled to see the records of measurements of your exposure to benzene upon written request to your employer. Your medical examination records can be furnished to yourself, your physician, or designated representative upon request by you to your employer.

(8) Precautions for safe use, handling, and storage. Benzene liquid is highly flammable. It should be stored in tightly closed containers in a cool, well ventilated area. Benzene vapor may form explosive mixtures in air. All sources of ignition must be controlled. Use nonsparking tools when opening or closing benzene containers. Fire extinguishers, where provided, must be readily available. Know where they are located and how to operate them. Smoking is prohibited in areas where benzene is used or stored. Ask your supervisor where benzene is used in your area and for additional plant safety rules.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07525, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]


WAC 296-62-07527 Appendix B substance technical guidelines--Benzene.

(1) Physical and chemical data.

(a) Substance identification.

(i) Synonyms: Benzol, benzole, coal naphtha, cyclohexatriene, phene, phenyl hydride, pyrobenzol. (Benzin, petroleum benzin and Benzine do not contain benzene.)

(ii) Formula: C6H6 (CAS Registry Number: 71-43-2).

(b) Physical data.

(i) Boiling point (760 mm Hg); 80.1 C (176 F).

(ii) Specific gravity (water = 1): 0.879.

(iii) Vapor density (air = 1): 2.7.

(iv) Melting point: 5.5 C (42 F).

(v) Vapor pressure at 20 C (68 F): 75 mm Hg.

(vi) Solubility in water: .06%.

(vii) Evaporation rate (ether = 1): 2.8.

(viii) Appearance and odor: Clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive sweet odor.

(2) Fire, explosion, and reactivity hazard data.

(a) Fire.

(i) Flash point (closed cup): -11 C (12 F).

(ii) Autoignition temperature: 580 C (1076 F).

(iii) Flammable limits in Air. % by volume: Lower: 1.3%, Upper: 7.5%.

(iv) Extinguishing media: Carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or foam.

(v) Special fire-fighting procedures: Do not use solid stream of water, since stream will scatter and spread fire. Fine water spray can be used to keep fire-exposed containers cool.

(vi) Unusual fire and explosion hazards: Benzene is a flammable liquid. Its vapors can form explosive mixtures. All ignition sources must be controlled when benzene is used, handled, or stored. Where liquid or vapor may be released, such areas shall be considered as hazardous locations. Benzene vapors are heavier than air; thus the vapors may travel along the ground and be ignited by open flames or sparks at locations remote from the site at which benzene is handled.

(vii) Benzene is classified as a 1 B flammable liquid for the purpose of conforming to the requirements of WAC 296-24-330. A concentration exceeding 3,250 ppm is considered a potential fire explosion hazard. Locations where benzene may be present in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures are considered Class I Group D for the purposes of conforming to the requirements of WAC 296-24-95613.

(b) Reactivity.

(i) Conditions contributing to instability: Heat.

(ii) Incompatibility: Heat and oxidizing materials.

(iii) Hazardous decomposition products: Toxic gases and vapors (such as carbon monoxide).

(3) Spill and leak procedures.

(a) Steps to be taken if the material is released or spilled. As much benzene as possible should be absorbed with suitable materials, such as dry sand or earth; benzene remaining must be flushed with large amounts of water. Do not flush benzene into a confined space, such as a sewer, because of explosion danger. Remove all ignition sources. Ventilate enclosed places.

(b) Waste disposal method. Disposal methods must conform to other jurisdictional regulations. If allowed, benzene may be disposed of:

(i) By absorbing it in dry sand or earth and disposing in a sanitary landfill;

(ii) If small quantities, by removing it to a safe location from buildings or other combustible sources, pouring it in dry sand or earth and cautiously igniting it; and

(iii) If large quantities, by atomizing it in a suitable combustion chamber.

(4) Miscellaneous precautions.

(a) High exposure to benzene can occur when transferring the liquid from one container to another. Such operations should be well ventilated and good work practices must be established to avoid spills.

(b) Use nonsparking tools to open benzene containers which are effectively grounded and bonded prior to opening and pouring.

(c) Employers must advise employees of all plant areas and operations where exposure to benzene could occur. Common operations in which high exposures to benzene may be encountered are: The primary production and utilization of benzene, and transfer of benzene.

[Statutory Authority:  RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050.  02-12-098 (Order 00-20), 296-62-07527, filed 06/05/02, effective 08/01/02.  Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07527, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]

WAC 296-62-07529 Appendix C medical surveillance guidelines for benzene.

(1) Route of entry. Inhalation; skin absorption.

(2) Toxicology. Benzene is primarily an inhalation hazard. Systemic absorption may cause depression of the hematopoietic system, pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, and leukemia. Inhalation of high concentrations can affect central nervous system function. Aspiration of small amounts of liquid benzene immediately causes pulmonary edema and hemorrhage of pulmonary tissue. There is some absorption through the skin. Absorption may be more rapid in the case of abraded skin, and benzene may be more readily absorbed if it is present in a mixture or as a contaminant in solvents which are readily absorbed. The defatting action of benzene may produce primary irritation due to repeated or prolonged contact with the skin. High concentrations are irritating to the eyes and the mucous membranes of the nose, and respiratory tract.

(3) Signs and symptoms. Direct skin contact with benzene may cause erythema. Repeated or prolonged contact may result in drying, scaling dermatitis, or development of secondary skin infections. In addition, there is benzene absorption through the skin. Local effects of benzene vapor or liquid on the eye are slight. Only at very high concentrations is there any smarting sensation in the eye. Inhalation of high concentrations of benzene may have an initial stimulatory effect on the central nervous system characterized by exhilaration, nervous excitation, and/or giddiness, followed by a period of depression, drowsiness, or fatigue. A sensation of tightness in the chest accompanied by breathlessness may occur and ultimately the victim may lose consciousness. Tremors, convulsions, and death may follow from respiratory paralysis or circulatory collapse in a few minutes to several hours following severe exposures.

The detrimental effect on the blood-forming system of prolonged exposure to small quantities of benzene vapor is of extreme importance. The hematopoietic system is the chief target for benzene's toxic effects which are manifested by alterations in the levels of formed elements in the peripheral blood. These effects have occurred at concentrations of benzene which may not cause irritation of mucous membranes, or any unpleasant sensory effects. Early signs and symptoms of benzene morbidity are varied, often not readily noticed and nonspecific. Subjective complaints of headache, dizziness, and loss of appetite may precede or follow clinical signs. Rapid pulse and low blood pressure, in addition to a physical appearance of anemia, may accompany a subjective complaint of shortness of breath and excessive tiredness. Bleeding from the nose, gums, or mucous membranes, and the development of purpuric spots (small bruises) may occur as the condition progresses. Clinical evidence of leukopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia, singly or in combination, has been frequently reported among the first signs.

Bone marrow may appear normal, aplastic, or hyperplastic, and may not, in all situations, correlate with peripheral blood forming tissues. Because of variations in the susceptibility to benzene morbidity, there is no “typical” blood picture. The onset of effects of prolonged benzene exposure may be delayed for many months or years after the actual exposure has ceased and identification or correlation with benzene exposure must be sought out in the occupational history.

(4) Treatment of acute toxic effects. Remove from exposure immediately. Make sure you are adequately protected and do not risk being overcome by fumes. Give oxygen or artificial resuscitation if indicated. Flush eyes, wash skin if contaminated and remove all contaminated clothing. Symptoms of intoxication may persist following severe exposures. Recovery from mild exposures is usually rapid and complete.

(5) Surveillance and preventive considerations.

(a) General. The principal effects of benzene exposure which form the basis for this regulation are pathological changes in the hematopoietic system, reflected by changes in the peripheral blood and manifesting clinically as pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, and leukemia. Consequently, the medical surveillance program is designed to observe, on a regular basis, blood indices for early signs of these effects, and although early signs of leukemia are not usually available, emerging diagnostic technology and innovative regimes make consistent surveillance for leukemia, as well as other hematopoietic effects, essential.

Initial examinations are to be provided within sixty days of the effective date of this standard, or at the time of initial assignment, and periodic examinations annually thereafter.

There are special provisions for medical tests in the event of hematologic abnormalities or for emergency situations.

The blood values which require referral to a hematologist or internist are noted in (b)(i) of this subsection. The standard specifies that blood abnormalities that persist must be referred “unless the physician has good reason to believe such referral is unnecessary” ((b)(i) of this subsection). Examples of conditions that could make a referral unnecessary despite abnormal blood limits are iron or folate deficiency, menorrhagia, or blood loss due to some unrelated medical abnormality.

Symptoms and signs of benzene toxicity can be nonspecific. Only a detailed history and appropriate investigative procedure will enable a physician to rule out or confirm conditions that place the employee at increased risk. To assist the examining physician with regard to which laboratory tests are necessary and when to refer an employee to the specialist, OSHA has established the following guidelines.

(b) Hematology guidelines. A minimum battery of tests is to be performed by strictly standardized methods.

(i) Red cell, white cell, platelet counts, white blood cell differential, hematocrit and red cell indices must be performed by an accredited laboratory. The normal ranges for the red cell and white cell counts are influenced by altitude, race, and sex, and therefore should be determined by the accredited laboratory in the specific area where the tests are performed.

Either a decline from an absolute normal or an individual's baseline to a subnormal value or a rise to a supra-normal value, are indicative of potential toxicity, particularly if all blood parameters decline. The normal total white blood count is approximately 7,200/mm3 plus or minus 3,000. For cigarette smokers the white count may be higher and the upper range may be 2,000 cells higher than normal for the laboratory. In addition, infection, allergies and some drugs may raise the white cell count. The normal platelet count is approximately 250,000 with a range of 140,000 to 400,000. Counts outside this range should be regarded as possible evidence of benzene toxicity.

Certain abnormalities found through routine screening are of greater significance in the benzene-exposed worker and require prompt consultation with a specialist, namely:

(A) Thrombocytopenia.

(B) A trend of decreasing white cell, red cell, or platelet indices in an individual over time is more worrisome than an isolated abnormal finding at one test time. The importance of trend highlights the need to compare an individual's test results to baseline and/or previous periodic tests.

(C) A constellation or pattern of abnormalities in the different blood indices is of more significance than a single abnormality. A low white count not associated with any abnormalities in other cell indices may be a normal statistical variation, whereas if the low white count is accompanied by decreases in the platelet and/or red cell indices, such a pattern is more likely to be associated with benzene toxicity and merits thorough investigation.

Anemia, leukopenia, macrocytosis or an abnormal differential white blood cell count should alert the physician to further investigate and/or refer the patient if repeat tests confirm the abnormalities. If routine screening detects an abnormality, follow-up tests which may be helpful in establishing the etiology of the abnormality are the peripheral blood smear and the reticulocyte count.

The extreme range of normal for reticulocytes is 0.4 to 2.5 percent of the red cells, the usual range being 0.5 to 1.2 percent of the red cells, but the typical value is in the range of 0.8 to 1.0 percent. A decline in reticulocytes to levels of less than 0.4 percent is to be regarded as possible evidence (unless another specific cause is found) of benzene toxicity requiring accelerated surveillance. An increase in reticulocyte levels to about 2.5 percent may also be consistent with (but is not as characteristic of) benzene toxicity.

(ii) An important diagnostic test is a careful examination of the peripheral blood smear. As with reticulocyte count the smear should be with fresh uncoagulated blood obtained from a needle tip following venipuncture or from a drop of earlobe blood (capillary blood). If necessary, the smear may, under certain limited conditions, be made from a blood sample anticoagulated with EDTA (but never with oxalate or heparin). When the smear is to be prepared from a specimen of venous blood which has been collected by a commercial Vacutainer type tube containing neutral EDTA, the smear should be made as soon as possible after the venesection. A delay of up to twelve hours is permissible between the drawing of the blood specimen into EDTA and the preparation of the smear if the blood is stored at refrigerator (not freezing) temperature.

(iii) The minimum mandatory observations to be made from the smear are:

(A) The differential white blood cell count;

(B) Description of abnormalities in the appearance of red cells; and

(C) Description of any abnormalities in the platelets.

(D) A careful search must be made throughout of every blood smear for immature white cells such as band forms (in more than normal proportion, i.e., over ten percent of the total differential count), any number of metamyelocytes, myelocytes, or myeloblasts. Any nucleate or multinucleated red blood cells should be reported. Large “giant” platelets or fragments of megakaryocytes must be recognized.

An increase in the proportion of band forms among the neutrophilic granulocytes is an abnormality deserving special mention, for it may represent a change which should be considered as an early warning of benzene toxicity in the absence of other causative factors (most commonly infection). Likewise, the appearance of metamyelocytes, in the absence of another probable cause, is to be considered a possible indication of benzene-induced toxicity.

An upward trend in the number of basophils, which normally do not exceed about 2.0 percent of the total white cells, is to be regarded as possible evidence of benzene toxicity. A rise in the eosinophil count is less specific but also may be suspicious of toxicity if it rises above 6.0 percent of the total white count.

The normal range of monocytes is from 2.0 to 8.0 percent of the total white count with an average of about 5.0 percent. About twenty percent of individuals reported to have mild but persisting abnormalities caused by exposure to benzene show a persistent monocytosis. The findings of a monocyte count which persists at more than ten to twelve percent of the normal white cell count (when the total count is normal) or persistence of an absolute monocyte count in excess of 800/mm3 should be regarded as a possible sign of benzene-induced toxicity.

A less frequent but more serious indication of benzene toxicity is the finding in the peripheral blood of the so-called “pseudo” (or acquired) Pelger-Huet anomaly. In this anomaly many, or sometimes the majority, of the neutrophilic granulocytes possess two round nuclear segments-less often one or three round segments-rather than three normally elongated segments. When this anomaly is not hereditary, it is often but not invariably predictive of subsequent leukemia. However, only about two percent of patients who ultimately develop acute myelogenous leukemia show the acquired Pelger-Huet anomaly. Other tests that can be administered to investigate blood abnormalities are discussed below; however, such procedures should be undertaken by the hematologist.

An uncommon sign, which cannot be detected from the smear, but can be elicited by a “sucrose water test” of peripheral blood, is transient paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), which may first occur insidiously during a period of established aplastic anemia, and may be followed within one to a few years by the appearance of rapidly fatal acute myelogenous leukemia. Clinical detection of PNH, which occurs in only one or two percent of those destined to have acute myelogenous leukemia, may be difficult; if the “sucrose water test” is positive, the somewhat more definitive Ham test, also known as the acid-serum hemolysis test, may provide confirmation.

(E) Individuals documented to have developed acute myelogenous leukemia years after initial exposure to benzene may have progressed through a preliminary phase of hematologic abnormality. In some instances pancytopenia (i.e., a lowering in the counts of all circulating blood cells of bone marrow origin, but not to the extent implied by the term “aplastic anemia”) preceded leukemia for many years. Depression of a single blood cell type or platelets may represent a harbinger of aplasia or leukemia. The finding of two or more cytopenias, or pancytopenia in a benzene-exposed individual, must be regarded as highly suspicious of more advanced although still reversible, toxicity. “Pancytopenia” coupled with the appearance of immature cells (myelocytes, myeloblasts, erythroblasts, etc.), with abnormal cells (pseudo Pelger-Huet anomaly, atypical nuclear heterochromatin, etc.), or unexplained elevations of white blood cells must be regarded as evidence of benzene overexposure unless proved otherwise.

Many severely aplastic patients manifested the ominous finding of five to ten percent myeloblasts in the marrow, occasional myeloblasts and myelocytes in the blood and twenty to thirty monocytes. It is evident that isolated cytopenias, pancytopenias, and even aplastic anemias induced by benzene may be reversible and complete recovery has been reported on cessation of exposure. However, since any of these abnormalities is serious, the employee must immediately be removed from any possible exposure to benzene vapor. Certain tests may substantiate the employee's prospects for progression or regression. One such test would be an examination of the bone marrow, but the decision to perform a bone marrow aspiration or needle biopsy is made by the hematologist.

The findings of basophilic stippling in circulating red blood cells (usually found in one to five percent of red cells following marrow injury), and detection in the bone marrow of what are termed “ringed sideroblasts” must be taken seriously, as they have been noted in recent years to be premonitory signs of subsequent leukemia.

Recently peroxidase-staining of circulating or marrow neutrophil granulocytes, employing benzidine dihydrochloride, have revealed the disappearance of, or diminution in, peroxidase in a sizable proportion of the granulocytes, and this has been reported as an early sign of leukemia. However, relatively few patients have been studied to date. Granulocyte granules are normally strongly peroxidase positive. A steady decline in leukocyte alkaline phosphatase has also been reported as suggestive of early acute leukemia. Exposure to benzene may cause an early rise in serum iron, often but not always associated with a fall in the reticulocyte count. Thus, serial measurements of serum iron levels may provide a means of determining whether or not there is a trend representing sustained suppression of erythropoiesis.  Measurement of serum iron, determination of peroxidase and of alkaline phosphatase activity in peripheral granulocytes can be performed in most pathology laboratories. Peroxidase and alkaline phosphatase staining are usually undertaken when the index of suspicion for leukemia is high.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07529, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]


WAC 296-62-07531 Appendix D sampling and analytical methods for benzene monitoring and measurement procedures. 

Measurements taken for the purpose of determining employee exposure to benzene are best taken so that the representative average eight-hour exposure may be determined from a single eight-hour sample or two four-hour samples. Short-time interval samples (or grab samples) may also be used to determine average exposure level if a minimum of five measurements are taken in a random manner over the eight-hour work shift. Random sampling means that any portion of the work shift has the same chance of being sampled as any other. The arithmetic average of all such random samples taken on one work shift is an estimate of an employee's average level of exposure for that work shift. Air samples should be taken in the employee's breathing zone (air that would most nearly represent that inhaled by the employee). Sampling and analysis must be performed with procedures meeting the requirements of the standard.

There are a number of methods available for monitoring employee exposures to benzene. The sampling and analysis may be performed by collection of the benzene vapor on charcoal adsorption tubes, with subsequent chemical analysis by gas chromatography. Sampling and analysis may also be performed by portable direct reading instruments, real-time continuous monitoring systems, passive dosimeters or other suitable methods. The employer has the obligation of selecting a monitoring method which meets the accuracy and precision requirements of the standard under his unique field conditions. The standard requires that the method of monitoring must have an accuracy, to a ninety-five percent confidence level, of not less than plus or minus twenty-five percent for concentrations of benzene greater than or equal to 0.5 ppm.

The WISHA laboratory uses NIOSH Method 1500 for evaluation of benzene air concentrations.

(1) WISHA method HYDCB for air samples.

Analyte: Benzene.

Matrix: Air.

Procedure: Adsorption on charcoal, desorption with carbon disulfide, analysis by GC.

Detection limit: 0.04 ppm.

Recommended air volume and sampling rate: 10L at 0.05 to 0.2 L/min.

(a) Principle of the method.

(i) A known volume of air is drawn through a charcoal tube to trap the organic vapors present.

(ii) The charcoal in the tube is transferred to a small, stoppered vial, and the analyte is desorbed with carbon disulfide.

(iii) An aliquot of the desorbed sample is injected into a gas chromatograph.

(iv) The area of the resulting peak is determined and compared with areas obtained from standards.

(b) Advantages and disadvantages of the method.

(i) The sampling device is small, portable, and involves no liquids. Interferences are minimal, and most of those which do occur can be eliminated by altering chromatographic conditions. The samples are analyzed by means of a quick, instrumental method.

(ii) The amount of sample which can be taken is limited by the number of milligrams that the tube will hold before overloading. When the sample value obtained for the backup section of the charcoal tube exceeds twenty-five percent of that found on the front section, the possibility of sample loss exists.

(c) Apparatus.

(i) A calibrated personal sampling pump whose flow can be determined within 5 percent at the recommended flow rate.

(ii) Charcoal tubes: Glass with both ends flame sealed, 7 cm long with a 6-mm O.D. and a 4-mm I.D., containing two sections of 20/40 mesh activated charcoal separated by a 2-mm portion of urethane foam. The activated charcoal is prepared from coconut shells and is obtained commercially. The adsorbing section contains 100 mg of charcoal, the back-up section 50 mg. A 3-mm portion of urethane foam is placed between the outlet end of the tube and the back-up section. A plug of silanized glass wool is placed in front of the adsorbing section. The pressure drop across the tube must be less than one inch of mercury at a flow rate of one liter per minute.

(iii) Gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector.

(iv) Column (10-ft 1/8-in stainless steel) packed with 80/100 Supelcoport coated with twenty percent SP 2100, 0.1 percent CW 1500.

(v) An electronic integrator or some other suitable method for measuring peak area.

(vi) Two-milliliter sample vials with Teflonlined caps.

(vii) Microliter syringes: 10-microliter 10-uL syringe, and other convenient sizes for making standards, 1-uL syringe for sample injections.

(viii) Pipets: 1.0 mL delivery pipets.

(ix) Volumetric flasks: Convenient sizes for making standard solutions.

(d) Reagents.

(i) Chromatographic quality carbon disulfide (CS2). Most commercially available carbon disulfide contains a trace of benzene which must be removed. It can be removed with the following procedure:

Heat under reflux for two to three hours, 500 mL of carbon disulfide, 10 mL concentrated sulfuric acid, and five drops of concentrated nitric acid. The benzene is converted to nitrobenzene. The carbon disulfide layer is removed, dried with anhydrous sodium sulfate, and distilled. The recovered carbon disulfide should be benzene free. (It has recently been determined that benzene can also be removed by passing the carbon disulfide through 13x molecular sieve.)

(ii) Benzene, reagent grade.

(iii) p-Cymene, reagent grade, (internal standard).

(iv) Desorbing reagent. The desorbing reagent is prepared by adding 0.05 mL of p-Cymene per milliliter of carbon disulfide. (The internal standard offers a convenient means correcting analytical response for slight inconsistencies in the size of sample injections. If the external standard technique is preferred, the internal standard can be eliminated.)

(v) Purified GC grade helium, hydrogen, and air.

(e) Procedure.

(i) Cleaning of equipment. All glassware used for the laboratory analysis should be properly cleaned and free of organics which could interfere in the analysis.

(ii) Calibration of personal pumps. Each pump must be calibrated with a representative charcoal tube in the line.

(iii) Collection and shipping of samples.

(A) Immediately before sampling, break the ends of the tube to provide an opening at least one-half the internal diameter of the tube (2 mm).

(B) The smaller section of the charcoal is used as the backup and should be placed nearest the sampling pump.

(C) The charcoal tube should be placed in a vertical position during sampling to minimize channeling through the charcoal.

(D) Air being sampled should not be passed through any hose or tubing before entering the charcoal tube.

(E) A sample size of ten liters is recommended. Sample at a flow rate of approximately 0.05 to 0.2 liters per minute. The flow rate should be known with an accuracy of at least 5 percent.

(F) The charcoal tubes should be capped with the supplied plastic caps immediately after sampling.

(G) Submit at least one blank tube (a charcoal tube subjected to the same handling procedures, without having any air drawn through it) with each set of samples. Take necessary shipping and packing precautions to minimize breakage of samples.

(iv) Analysis of samples.

(A) Preparation of samples. In preparation for analysis, each charcoal tube is scored with a file in front of the first section of charcoal and broken open. The glass wool is removed and discarded. The charcoal in the first (larger) section is transferred to a 2-ml vial. The separating section of foam is removed and discarded; the second section is transferred to another capped vial. These two sections are analyzed separately.

(B) Desorption of samples. Prior to analysis, 1.0 mL of desorbing solution is pipetted into each sample container. The desorbing solution consists of 0.05 uL internal standard per mL of carbon disulfide. The sample vials are capped as soon as the solvent is added. Desorption should be done for thirty minutes with occasional shaking.

(C) GC conditions. Typical operating conditions for the gas chromatograph are:

(I) 30 mL/min (60 psig) helium carrier gas flow.

(II) 30 mL/min (40 psig) hydrogen gas flow to detector.

(III) 240 mL/min (40 psig) air flow to detector.

(IV) 150C injector temperature.

(V) 250C detector temperature.

(VI) 100C column temperature.

(D) Injection size. 1 L.

(E) Measurement of area. The peak areas are measured by an electronic integrator or some other suitable form of area measurement.

(F) An internal standard procedure is used. The integrator is calibrated to report results in ppm for a ten liter air sample after correction for desorption efficiency.

(v) Determination of desorption efficiency.

(A) Importance of determination. The desorption efficiency of a particular compound can vary from one laboratory to another and from one lot of chemical to another. Thus, it is necessary to determine, at least once, the percentage of the specific compound that is removed in the desorption process, provided the same batch of charcoal is used.

(B) Procedure for determining desorption efficiency. The reference portion of the charcoal tube is removed. To the remaining portion, amounts representing 0.5X, 1X, and 2X and (X represents target concentration) based on a 10 L air sample are injected into several tubes at each level. Dilutions of benzene with carbon disulfide are made to allow injection of measurable quantities. These tubes are then allowed to equilibrate at least overnight. Following equilibration they are analyzed following the same procedure as the samples. Desorption efficiency is determined by dividing the amount of benzene found by amount spiked on the tube.

(f) Calibration and standards. A series of standards varying in concentration over the range of interest is prepared and analyzed under the same GC conditions that will be used on the samples. A calibration curve is prepared by plotting concentration (mg/mL) versus peak area.

(g) Calculations. Benzene air concentration can be calculated from the following equation:

mg/m3 = (A)(B)/(C)(D)

Where: A = g/mL benzene, obtained from the calibration curve

B = desorption volume (1 mL)

C = Liters of air sampled

D = desorption efficiency

The concentration in mg/m3 can be converted to ppm (at 25 C and 760 mm) with the following equation:

ppm = (mg/m3)(24.46)/(78.11)

Where: 24.46 = molar volume of an ideal gas 25 C and 760 mm

78.11 = molecular weight of benzene

(h) Backup data.

(i) Detection limit-air samples.

The detection limit for the analytical procedure is 1.28 mg with a coefficient of 0.04 ppm for a 10 L air sample. This amount provided a chromatographic peak that could be identifiable in the presence of possible interferences. The detection limit data were obtained by making 1 L injections of a 1.283 g/mL standard.



Area Count













SD = 14.9



CV = 0.023




(ii) Pooled coefficient of variation-Air Samples. The pooled coefficient of variation for the analytical procedure was determined by 1 uL replicate injections of analytical standards. The standards were 16.04, 32.08, and 64.16 mg/mL, which are equivalent to 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 ppm for a 10 L air sample respectively.



Area Count


0.5 ppm

1.0 ppm

2.0 ppm

























X =




SD =




CV =




CV =


(iii) Storage data-air samples.

Samples were generated at 1.03 ppm benzene at eighty percent relative humidity, 22 C, and 643 mm. All samples were taken for fifty minutes at 0.2 L/min. Six samples were analyzed immediately and the rest of the samples were divided into two groups by fifteen samples each. One group was stored at refrigerated temperature of -25 C, and the other group was stored at ambient temperature (approximately 23 C). These samples were analyzed over a period of fifteen days. The results are tabulated below.


Day analyzed




















































(iv) Desorption data.

Samples were prepared by injecting liquid benzene onto the A section of charcoal tubes. Samples were prepared that would be equivalent to 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 ppm for a 10 L air sample.



0.5 ppm

1.0 ppm

2.0 ppm

























X =




SD =




CV =




X = 99.4


(v) Carbon disulfide.

Carbon disulfide from a number of sources was analyzed for benzene contamination. The results are given in the following table. The benzene contaminant can be removed with the procedures given in (d)(i) of this subsection.



G Benzene/mL

ppm equivalent (for 10 l air sample)

Aldrich Lot 83017



Baker Lot 720364



Baker Lot 822351



Malinkrodt Lot WEMP



Malinkrodt Lot WHGA



Treated CS2



(2) WISHA laboratory method for bulk samples.

Analyte: Benzene.

Matrix: Bulk samples.

Procedure: Bulk samples are analyzed directly by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or by capillary gas chromatography. See laboratory manual for GC procedure.

Detection limits: 0.01% by volume.

(a) Principle of the method.

(i) An aliquot of the bulk sample to be analyzed is injected into a liquid chromatograph or gas chromatograph.

(ii) The peak area for benzene is determined and compared to areas obtained from standards.

(b) Advantages and disadvantages of the method.

(i) The analytical procedure is quick, sensitive, and reproducible.

(ii) Reanalysis of samples is possible.

(iii) Interferences can be circumvented by proper selection of HPLC parameters or GC parameters.

(iv) Samples must be free of any particulates that may clog the capillary tubing in the liquid chromatograph. This may require distilling the sample or clarifying with a clarification kit.

(c) Apparatus.

(i) Liquid chromatograph equipped with a UV detector or capillary gas chromatograph with FID detector.

(ii) HPLC column that will separate benzene from other components in the bulk sample being analyzed. The column used for validation studies was a Waters uBondapack C18, 30 cm x 3.9 mm.

(iii) A clarification kit to remove any particulates in the bulk if necessary.

(iv) A micro-distillation apparatus to distill any samples if necessary.

(v) An electronic integrator or some other suitable method of measuring peak areas.

(vi) Microliter syringes-10 L syringe and other convenient sizes for making standards. 10 L syringe for sample injections.

(vii) Volumetric flasks, 5 mL and other convenient sizes for preparing standards and making dilutions.

(d) Reagents.

(i) Benzene, reagent grade.

(ii) HPLC grade water, methyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.

(e) Collection and shipment of samples.

(i) Samples should be transported in glass containers with Teflonlined caps.

(ii) Samples should not be put in the same container used for air samples.

(f) Analysis of samples.

(i) Sample preparation.

If necessary, the samples are distilled or clarified. Samples are analyzed undiluted. If the benzene concentration is out of the working range, suitable dilutions are made with isopropyl alcohol.

(ii) HPLC conditions.

The typical operating conditions for the high performance liquid chromatograph are:

(A) Mobile phase-Methyl alcohol/water, 50/50.

(B) Analytical wavelength-254 nm.

(C) Injection size-10 L.

(iii) Measurement of peak area and calibration.

Peak areas are measured by an integrator or other suitable means. The integrator is calibrated to report results % in benzene by volume.

(g) Calculations.

Since the integrator is programmed to report results in % benzene by volume in an undiluted sample, the following equation is used:

% Benzene by Volume = A x B

Where: A = % by volume on report

B = Dilution Factor

(B = 1 for undiluted sample)

(h) Backup data.

(i) Detection limit-bulk samples.

The detection limit for the analytical procedure for bulk samples is 0.88 mg, with a coefficient or variation of 0.019 at this level. This amount provided a chromatographic peak that could be identifiable in the presence of possible interferences. The detection limit data were obtained by making 10 L injections of a 0.10% by volume standard.










X = 44040.1



SD = 852.5



CV = 0.019

(ii) Pooled coefficient of variation-bulk samples.

The pooled coefficient of variation for analytical procedure was determined by 50 L replicate injections of analytical standards. The standards were 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.10, 1.0, and 2.0% benzene by volume.


Injection No.
























































SD =







CV =







CV =



[Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 90-09-026 (Order 90-01), 296-62-07531, filed 4/10/90, effective 5/25/90; 89-11-035 (Order 89-03), 296-62-07531, filed 5/15/89, effective 6/30/89; 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07531, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]

WAC 296-62-07540 Formaldehyde.

Note: The requirements in this chapter apply only to agriculture. The general industry requirements relating to formaldehyde have been moved to chapter 296-856 WAC, Formaldehyde.

(1) Scope and application. This standard applies to all occupational exposures to formaldehyde, i.e., from formaldehyde gas, its solutions, and materials that release formaldehyde.

(2) Definitions. For purposes of this standard, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Action level” means a concentration of 0.5 part formaldehyde per million parts of air (0.5 ppm) calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration.

(b) “Approved” means approved by the director of the department of labor and industries or his/her authorized representative: Provided, however, That should a provision of this chapter state that approval by an agency or organization other than the department of labor and industries is required, such as Underwriters' Laboratories or the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the provision of WAC 296-800-370 shall apply.

(c) “Authorized person” means any person required by work duties to be present in regulated work areas, or authorized to do so by the employer, by this section of the standard, or by the WISHA Act.

(d) “Director” means the director of the department of labor and industries, or his/her designated representative.

(e) “Emergency” is any occurrence, such as but not limited to equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment that results in an uncontrolled release of a significant amount of formaldehyde.

(f) “Employee exposure” means the exposure to airborne formaldehyde which would occur without corrections for protection provided by any respirator that is in use.

(g) “Formaldehyde” means the chemical substance, HCHO, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry No. 50-00-0.

(3) Permissible exposure limit (PEL).

(a) TWA: The employer shall assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of formaldehyde which exceeds 0.75 part formaldehyde per million parts of air as an 8-hour TWA.

(b) Short term exposure limit (STEL): The employer shall assure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of formaldehyde which exceeds two parts formaldehyde per million parts of air (2 ppm) as a fifteen-minute STEL.

(4) Exposure monitoring.

(a) General.

(i) Each employer who has a workplace covered by this standard shall monitor employees to determine their exposure to formaldehyde.

(ii) Exception. Where the employer documents, using objective data, that the presence of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing products in the workplace cannot result in airborne concentrations of formaldehyde that would cause any employee to be exposed at or above the action level or the STEL under foreseeable conditions of use, the employer will not be required to measure employee exposure to formaldehyde.

(iii) When an employee's exposure is determined from representative sampling, the measurements used shall be representative of the employee's full shift or short-term exposure to formaldehyde, as appropriate.

(iv) Representative samples for each job classification in each work area shall be taken for each shift unless the employer can document with objective data that exposure levels for a given job classification are equivalent for different workshifts.

(b) Initial monitoring. The employer shall identify all employees who may be exposed at or above the action level or at or above the STEL and accurately determine the exposure of each employee so identified.

(i) Unless the employer chooses to measure the exposure of each employee potentially exposed to formaldehyde, the employer shall develop a representative sampling strategy and measure sufficient exposures within each job classification for each workshift to correctly characterize and not underestimate the exposure of any employee within each exposure group.

(ii) The initial monitoring process shall be repeated each time there is a change in production, equipment, process, personnel, or control measures which may result in new or additional exposure to formaldehyde.

(iii) If the employer receives reports or signs or symptoms of respiratory or dermal conditions associated with formaldehyde exposure, the employer shall promptly monitor the affected employee's exposure.

(c) Periodic monitoring.

(i) The employer shall periodically measure and accurately determine exposure to formaldehyde for employees shown by the initial monitoring to be exposed at or above the action level or at or above the STEL.

(ii) If the last monitoring results reveal employee exposure at or above the action level, the employer shall repeat monitoring of the employees at least every six months.

(iii) If the last monitoring results reveal employee exposure at or above the STEL, the employer shall repeat monitoring of the employees at least once a year under worst conditions.

(d) Termination of monitoring. The employer may discontinue periodic monitoring for employees if results from two consecutive sampling periods taken at least seven days apart show that employee exposure is below the action level and the STEL. The results must be statistically representative and consistent with the employer's knowledge of the job and work operation.

(e) Accuracy of monitoring. Monitoring shall be accurate, at the ninety-five percent confidence level, to within plus or minus twenty-five percent for airborne concentrations of formaldehyde at the TWA and the STEL and to within plus or minus thirty-five percent for airborne concentrations of formaldehyde at the action level.

(f) Employee notification of monitoring results. Within fifteen days of receiving the results of exposure monitoring conducted under this standard, the employer shall notify the affected employees of these results. Notification shall be in writing, either by distributing copies of the results to the employees or by posting the results. If the employee exposure is over either PEL, the employer shall develop and implement a written plan to reduce employee exposure to or below both PELs, and give written notice to employees. The written notice shall contain a description of the corrective action being taken by the employer to decrease exposure.

(g) Observation of monitoring.

(i) The employer shall provide affected employees or their designated representatives an opportunity to observe any monitoring of employee exposure to formaldehyde required by this standard.

(ii) When observation of the monitoring of employee exposure to formaldehyde requires entry into an area where the use of protective clothing or equipment is required, the employer shall provide the clothing and equipment to the observer, require the observer to use such clothing and equipment, and assure that the observer complies with all other applicable safety and health procedures.

(5) Regulated areas.

(a) The employer shall establish regulated areas where the concentration of airborne formaldehyde exceeds either the TWA or the STEL and post all entrances and accessways with signs bearing the following information:





(b) The employer shall limit access to regulated areas to authorized persons who have been trained to recognize the hazards of formaldehyde.

(c) An employer at a multi-employer worksite who establishes a regulated area shall communicate the access restrictions and locations of these areas to other employers with work operations at that worksite.

(6) Methods of compliance.

(a) Engineering controls and work practices. The employer shall institute engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposures to formaldehyde at or below the TWA and the STEL.

(b) Exception. Whenever the employer has established that feasible engineering and work practice controls cannot reduce employee exposure to or below either of the PELs, the employer shall apply these controls to reduce employee exposures to the extent feasible and shall supplement them with respirators which satisfy this standard.

(7) Respiratory protection.

(a) General. For employees who use respirators required by this section, the employer must provide respirators that comply with the requirements of this subsection. Respirators must be used during:

(i) Periods necessary to install or implement feasible engineering and work-practice controls;

(ii) Work operations, such as maintenance and repair activities or vessel cleaning, for which the employer establishes that engineering and work-practice controls are not feasible;

(iii) Work operations for which feasible engineering and work-practice controls are not yet sufficient to reduce exposure to or below the PELs;

(iv) Emergencies.

(b) Respirator program.

(i) The employer must implement a respiratory protection program as required by chapter 296-842 WAC, except WAC 296-842-13005 and 296-842-14005.

(ii) If air-purifying chemical-cartridge respirators are used, the employer must:

(A) Replace the cartridge after three hours of use or at the end of the workshift, whichever occurs first, unless the cartridge contains a NIOSH-certified end-of-service-life indicator (ESLI) to shown when breakthrough occurs.

(B) Unless the canister contains a NIOSH-certified ESLI to show when breakthrough occurs, replace canisters used in atmospheres up to 7.5 ppm (10 x PEL) every four hours and industrial-sized canisters used in atmospheres up to 75 ppm (100 x PEL) every two hours, or at the end of the workshift, whichever occurs first.

(c) Respirator selection.

(i) The employer must select appropriate respirators from Table 1 of this section.




Condition of use of formaldehyde concentration (ppm)

Minimum respirator required1

Up to 7.5 ppm (10 x PEL)

Full facepiece with cartridges or canisters specifically approved for protection against formaldehyde2.

Up to 75 ppm (100 x PEL)

Full-face mask with chin style or chest or back mounted type industrial size canister specifically approved for protection against formaldehyde. Type C supplied-air respirator pressure demand or continuous flow type, with full facepiece, hood, or helmet.

Above 75 ppm or unknown (emergencies) (100 x PEL)

Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) with positive-pressure full facepiece. Combination supplied-air, full facepiece positive-pressure respirator with auxiliary self-contained air supply.

Fire fighting

SCBA with positive-pressure in full facepiece.


SCBA in demand or pressure demand mode. Full-face mask with chin style or front or back mounted type industrial size canister specifically approved for protection against formaldehyde.

1 Respirators specified for use at higher concentrations may be used at lower concentrations.

2 A half-mask respirator with cartridges specifically approved for protection against formaldehyde can be substituted for the full facepiece respirator providing that effective gas-proof goggles are provided and used in combination with the half-mask respirator.

(ii) The employer must provide a powered air-purifying respirator adequate to protect against formaldehyde exposure to any employee who has difficulty using a negative-pressure respirator.

(8) Protective equipment and clothing. Employers shall comply with the provisions of WAC 296-800-160. When protective equipment or clothing is provided under these provisions, the employer shall provide these protective devices at no cost to the employee and assure that the employee wears them.

(a) Selection. The employer shall select protective clothing and equipment based upon the form of formaldehyde to be encountered, the conditions of use, and the hazard to be prevented.

(i) All contact of the eyes and skin with liquids containing one percent or more formaldehyde shall be prevented by the use of chemical protective clothing made of material impervious to formaldehyde and the use of other personal protective equipment, such as goggles and face shields, as appropriate to the operation.

(ii) Contact with irritating or sensitizing materials shall be prevented to the extent necessary to eliminate the hazard.

(iii) Where a face shield is worn, chemical safety goggles are also required if there is a danger of formaldehyde reaching the area of the eye.

(iv) Full body protection shall be worn for entry into areas where concentrations exceed 100 ppm and for emergency reentry into areas of unknown concentration.

(b) Maintenance of protective equipment and clothing.

(i) The employer shall assure that protective equipment and clothing that has become contaminated with formaldehyde is cleaned or laundered before its reuse.

(ii) When ventilating formaldehyde-contaminated clothing and equipment, the employer shall establish a storage area so that employee exposure is minimized. Containers for contaminated clothing and equipment and storage areas shall have labels and signs containing the following information:




(iii) The employer shall assure that only persons trained to recognize the hazards of formaldehyde remove the contaminated material from the storage area for purposes of cleaning, laundering, or disposal.

(iv) The employer shall assure that no employee takes home equipment or clothing that is contaminated with formaldehyde.

(v) The employer shall repair or replace all required protective clothing and equipment for each affected employee as necessary to assure its effectiveness.

(vi) The employer shall inform any person who launders, cleans, or repairs such clothing or equipment of formaldehyde's potentially harmful effects and of procedures to safely handle the clothing and equipment.

(9) Hygiene protection.

(a) The employer shall provide change rooms, as described in WAC 296-24-120 for employees who are required to change from work clothing into protective clothing to prevent skin contact with formaldehyde.

(b) If employees' skin may become splashed with solutions containing one percent or greater formaldehyde, for example because of equipment failure or improper work practices, the employer shall provide conveniently located quick drench showers and assure that affected employees use these facilities immediately.

(c) If there is any possibility that an employee's eyes may be splashed with solutions containing 0.1 percent or greater formaldehyde, the employer shall provide acceptable eyewash facilities within the immediate work area for emergency use.

(10) Housekeeping. For operations involving formaldehyde liquids or gas, the employer shall conduct a program to detect leaks and spills, including regular visual inspections.

(a) Preventative maintenance of equipment, including surveys for leaks, shall be undertaken at regular intervals.

(b) In work areas where spillage may occur, the employer shall make provisions to contain the spill, to decontaminate the work area, and to dispose of the waste.

(c) The employer shall assure that all leaks are repaired and spills are cleaned promptly by employees wearing suitable protective equipment and trained in proper methods for cleanup and decontamination.

(d) Formaldehyde-contaminated waste and debris resulting from leaks or spills shall be placed for disposal in sealed containers bearing a label warning of formaldehyde's presence and of the hazards associated with formaldehyde.

(11) Emergencies. For each workplace where there is the possibility of an emergency involving formaldehyde, the employer shall assure appropriate procedures are adopted to minimize injury and loss of life. Appropriate procedures shall be implemented in the event of an emergency.

(12) Medical surveillance.

(a) Employees covered.

(i) The employer shall institute medical surveillance programs for all employees exposed to formaldehyde at concentrations at or exceeding the action level or exceeding the STEL.

(ii) The employer shall make medical surveillance available for employees who develop signs and symptoms of overexposure to formaldehyde and for all employees exposed to formaldehyde in emergencies. When determining whether an employee may be experiencing signs and symptoms of possible overexposure to formaldehyde, the employer may rely on the evidence that signs and symptoms associated with formaldehyde exposure will occur only in exceptional circumstances when airborne exposure is less than 0.1 ppm and when formaldehyde is present in materials in concentrations less than 0.1 percent.

(b) Examination by a physician. All medical procedures, including administration of medical disease questionnaires, shall be performed by or under the supervision of a licensed physician and shall be provided without cost to the employee, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place.

(c) Medical disease questionnaire. The employer shall make the following medical surveillance available to employees prior to assignment to a job where formaldehyde exposure is at or above the action level or above the STEL and annually thereafter. The employer shall also make the following medical surveillance available promptly upon determining that an employee is experiencing signs and symptoms indicative of possible overexposure to formaldehyde.

(i) Administration of a medical disease questionnaire, such as in Appendix D, which is designed to elicit information on work history, smoking history, any evidence of eye, nose, or throat irritation; chronic airway problems or hyperreactive airway disease; allergic skin conditions or dermatitis; and upper or lower respiratory problems.

(ii) A determination by the physician, based on evaluation of the medical disease questionnaire, of whether a medical examination is necessary for employees not required to wear respirators to reduce exposure to formaldehyde.

(d) Medical examinations. Medical examinations shall be given to any employee who the physician feels, based on information in the medical disease questionnaire, may be at increased risk from exposure to formaldehyde and at the time of initial assignment and at least annually thereafter to all employees required to wear a respirator to reduce exposure to formaldehyde. The medical examination shall include:

(i) A physical examination with emphasis on evidence of irritation or sensitization of the skin and respiratory system, shortness of breath, or irritation of the eyes.

(ii) Laboratory examinations for respirator wearers consisting of baseline and annual pulmonary function tests. As a minimum, these tests shall consist of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and forced expiratory flow (FEF).

(iii) Any other test which the examining physician deems necessary to complete the written opinion.

(iv) Counseling of employees having medical conditions that would be directly or indirectly aggravated by exposure to formaldehyde on the increased risk of impairment of their health.

(e) Examinations for employees exposed in an emergency. The employer shall make medical examinations available as soon as possible to all employees who have been exposed to formaldehyde in an emergency.

(i) The examination shall include a medical and work history with emphasis on any evidence of upper or lower respiratory problems, allergic conditions, skin reaction or hypersensitivity, and any evidence of eye, nose, or throat irritation.

(ii) Other examinations shall consist of those elements considered appropriate by the examining physician.

(f) Information provided to the physician. The employer shall provide the following information to the examining physician:

(i) A copy of this standard and Appendices A, C, D, and E;

(ii) A description of the affected employee's job duties as they relate to the employee's exposure to formaldehyde;

(iii) The representative exposure level for the employee's job assignment;

(iv) Information concerning any personal protective equipment and respiratory protection used or to be used by the employee; and

(v) Information from previous medical examinations of the affected employee within the control of the employer.

(vi) In the event of a nonroutine examination because of an emergency, the employer shall provide to the physician as soon as possible: A description of how the emergency occurred and the exposure the victim may have received.

(g) Physician's written opinion.

(i) For each examination required under this standard, the employer shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician. This written opinion shall contain the results of the medical examination except that it shall not reveal specific findings or diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure to formaldehyde. The written opinion shall include:

(A) The physician's opinion as to whether the employee has any medical condition that would place the employee at an increased risk of material impairment of health from exposure to formaldehyde;

(B) Any recommended limitations on the employee's exposure or changes in the use of personal protective equipment, including respirators;

(C) A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of any medical conditions which would be aggravated by exposure to formaldehyde, whether these conditions may have resulted from past formaldehyde exposure or from exposure in an emergency, and whether there is a need for further examination or treatment.

(ii) The employer shall provide for retention of the results of the medical examination and tests conducted by the physician.

(iii) The employer shall provide a copy of the physician's written opinion to the affected employee within fifteen days of its receipt.

(h) Medical removal.

(i) The provisions of this subdivision apply when an employee reports significant irritation of the mucosa of the eyes or of the upper airways, respiratory sensitization, dermal irritation, or dermal sensitization attributed to workplace formaldehyde exposure. Medical removal provisions do not apply in case of dermal irritation or dermal sensitization when the product suspected of causing the dermal condition contains less than 0.05% formaldehyde.

(ii) An employee's report of signs or symptoms of possible overexposure to formaldehyde shall be evaluated by a physician selected by the employer pursuant to (c) of this subsection. If the physician determines that a medical examination is not necessary under (c)(ii) of this subsection, there shall be a two-week evaluation and remediation period to permit the employer to ascertain whether the signs or symptoms subside untreated or with the use of creams, gloves, first aid treatment, or personal protective equipment. Industrial hygiene measures that limit the employee's exposure to formaldehyde may also be implemented during this period. The employee shall be referred immediately to a physician prior to expiration of the two-week period if the signs or symptoms worsen. Earnings, seniority, and benefits may not be altered during the two-week period by virtue of the report.

(iii) If the signs or symptoms have not subsided or been remedied by the end of the two-week period, or earlier if signs or symptoms warrant, the employee shall be examined by a physician selected by the employer. The physician shall presume, absent contrary evidence, that observed dermal irritation or dermal sensitization are not attributable to formaldehyde when products to which the affected employee is exposed contain less than 0.1% formaldehyde.

(iv) Medical examinations shall be conducted in compliance with the requirements of (e)(i) and (ii) of this subsection. Additional guidelines for conducting medical exams are contained in WAC 296-62-07546, Appendix C.

(v) If the physician finds that significant irritation of the mucosa of the eyes or the upper airways, respiratory sensitization, dermal irritation, or dermal sensitization result from workplace formaldehyde exposure and recommends restrictions or removal. The employer shall promptly comply with the restrictions or recommendations of removal. In the event of a recommendation of removal, the employer shall remove the affected employee from the current formaldehyde exposure and if possible, transfer the employee to work having no or significantly less exposure to formaldehyde.

(vi) When an employee is removed pursuant to item (v) of this subdivision, the employer shall transfer the employee to comparable work for which the employee is qualified or can be trained in a short period (up to six months), where the formaldehyde exposures are as low as possible, but not higher than the action level. The employer shall maintain the employee's current earnings, seniority, and other benefits. If there is no such work available, the employer shall maintain the employee's current earnings, seniority, and other benefits until such work becomes available, until the employee is determined to be unable to return to workplace formaldehyde exposure, until the employee is determined to be able to return to the original job status, or for six months, whichever comes first.

(vii) The employer shall arrange for a follow-up medical examination to take place within six months after the employee is removed pursuant to this subsection. This examination shall determine if the employee can return to the original job status, or if the removal is to be permanent. The physician shall make a decision within six months of the date the employee was removed as to whether the employee can be returned to the original job status, or if the removal is to be permanent.

(viii) An employer's obligation to provide earnings, seniority, and other benefits to a removed employee may be reduced to the extent that the employee receives compensation for earnings lost during the period of removal either from a publicly or employer-funded compensation program or from employment with another employer made possible by virtue of the employee's removal.

(ix) In making determinations of the formaldehyde content of materials under this subsection the employer may rely on objective data.

(i) Multiple physician review.

(i) After the employer selects the initial physician who conducts any medical examination or consultation to determine whether medical removal or restriction is appropriate, the employee may designate a second physician to review any findings, determinations, or recommendations of the initial physician and to conduct such examinations, consultations, and laboratory tests as the second physician deems necessary and appropriate to evaluate the effects of formaldehyde exposure and to facilitate this review.

(ii) The employer shall promptly notify an employee of the right to seek a second medical opinion after each occasion that an initial physician conducts a medical examination or consultation for the purpose of medical removal or restriction.

(iii) The employer may condition its participation in, and payment for, the multiple physician review mechanism upon the employee doing the following within fifteen days after receipt of the notification of the right to seek a second medical opinion, or receipt of the initial physician's written opinion, whichever is later:

(A) The employee informs the employer of the intention to seek a second medical opinion; and

(B) The employee initiates steps to make an appointment with a second physician.

(iv) If the findings, determinations, or recommendations of the second physician differ from those of the initial physician, then the employer and the employee shall assure that efforts are made for the two physicians to resolve the disagreement. If the two physicians are unable to quickly resolve their disagreement, then the employer and the employee through their respective physicians shall designate a third physician who shall be a specialist in the field at issue:

(A) To review the findings, determinations, or recommendations of the prior physicians; and

(B) To conduct such examinations, consultations, laboratory tests, and discussions with prior physicians as the third physician deems necessary to resolve the disagreement of the prior physicians.

(v) In the alternative, the employer and the employee or authorized employee representative may jointly designate such third physician.

(vi) The employer shall act consistent with the findings, determinations, and recommendations of the third physician, unless the employer and the employee reach an agreement which is otherwise consistent with the recommendations of at least one of the three physicians.

(13) Hazard communication.

(a) General. Notwithstanding any exemption granted in WAC 296-800-170 for wood products, each employer who has a workplace covered by this standard shall comply with the requirements of WAC 296-800-170. The definitions of the chemical hazard communication standard shall apply under this standard.

(i) The following shall be subject to the hazard communication requirements of this section: Formaldehyde gas, all mixtures or solutions composed of greater than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, and materials capable of releasing formaldehyde into the air under reasonably foreseeable concentrations reaching or exceeding 0.1 ppm.

(ii) As a minimum, specific health hazards that the employer shall address are: Cancer, irritation and sensitization of the skin and respiratory system, eye and throat irritation, and acute toxicity.

(b) Manufacturers and importers who produce or import formaldehyde or formaldehyde-containing products shall provide downstream employers using or handling these products with an objective determination through the required labels and MSDSs as required by chapter 296-839 WAC.

(c) Labels.

(i) The employer shall assure that hazard warning labels complying with the requirements of WAC 296-800-170 are affixed to all containers of materials listed in (a)(i) of this subsection, except to the extent that (a)(i) of this subsection is inconsistent with this item.

(ii) Information on labels. As a minimum, for all materials listed in (a)(i) of this subsection, capable of releasing formaldehyde at levels of 0.1 ppm to 0.5 ppm, labels shall identify that the product contains formaldehyde: List the name and address of the responsible party; and state that physical and health hazard information is readily available from the employer and from material safety data sheets.

(iii) For materials listed in (a)(i) of this subsection, capable of releasing formaldehyde at levels above 0.5 ppm, labels shall appropriately address all the hazards as defined in WAC 296-800-170, and Appendices A and B, including respiratory sensitization, and shall contain the words “Potential Cancer Hazard.”

(iv) In making the determinations of anticipated levels of formaldehyde release, the employer may rely on objective data indicating the extent of potential formaldehyde release under reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.

(v) Substitute warning labels. The employer may use warning labels required by other statutes, regulations, or ordinances which impart the same information as the warning statements required by this subitem.

(d) Material safety data sheets.

(i) Any employer who uses formaldehyde-containing materials listed in (a)(i) of this subsection shall comply with the requirements of WAC 296-800-170 with regard to the development and updating of material safety data sheets.

(ii) Manufacturers, importers, and distributors of formaldehyde containing materials listed in (a)(i) of this subsection shall assure that material safety data sheets and updated information are provided to all employers purchasing such materials at the time of the initial shipment and at the time of the first shipment after a material safety data sheet is updated.

(e) Written hazard communication program. The employer shall develop, implement, and maintain at the workplace, a written chemical hazard communication program for formaldehyde exposures in the workplace, which at a minimum describes how the requirements specified in this section for labels and other forms of warning and material safety data sheets, and subsection (14) of this section for employee information and training, will be met. Employees in multi-employer workplaces shall comply with the requirements of WAC 296-800-170.

(14) Employee information and training.

(a) Participation. The employer shall assure that all employees who are assigned to workplaces where there is a health hazard from formaldehyde participate in a training program, except that where the employer can show, using objective data, that employees are not exposed to formaldehyde at or above 0.1 ppm, the employer is not required to provide training.

(b) Frequency. Employers shall provide such information and training to employees at the time of their initial assignment and whenever a new exposure to formaldehyde is introduced into their work area. The training shall be repeated at least annually.

(c) Training program. The training program shall be conducted in a manner which the employee is able to understand and shall include:

(i) A discussion of the contents of this regulation and the contents of the material safety data sheet;

(ii) The purpose for and a description of the medical surveillance program required by this standard, including:

(A) A description of the potential health hazards associated with exposure to formaldehyde and a description of the signs and symptoms of exposure to formaldehyde.

(B) Instructions to immediately report to the employer the development of any adverse signs or symptoms that the employee suspects is attributable to formaldehyde exposure.

(iii) Description of operations in the work area where formaldehyde is present and an explanation of the safe work practices appropriate for limiting exposure to formaldehyde in each job;

(iv) The purpose for, proper use of, and limitations of personal protective clothing;

(v) Instructions for the handling of spills, emergencies, and clean-up procedures;

(vi) An explanation of the importance of engineering and work practice controls for employee protection and any necessary instruction in the use of these controls;

(vii) A review of emergency procedures including the specific duties or assignments of each employee in the event of an emergency; and

(viii) The purpose, proper use, limitations, and other training requirements for respiratory protection as required by chapter 296-842 WAC.

(d) Access to training materials.

(i) The employer shall inform all affected employees of the location of written training materials and shall make these materials readily available, without cost, to the affected employees.

(ii) The employer shall provide, upon request, all training materials relating to the employee training program to the director of labor and industries, or his/her designated representative.

(15) Recordkeeping.

(a) Exposure measurements. The employer shall establish and maintain an accurate record of all measurements taken to monitor employee exposure to formaldehyde. This record shall include:

(i) The date of measurement;

(ii) The operation being monitored;

(iii) The methods of sampling and analysis and evidence of their accuracy and precision;

(iv) The number, durations, time, and results of samples taken;

(v) The types of protective devices worn; and

(vi) The names, job classifications, Social Security numbers, and exposure estimates of the employees whose exposures are represented by the actual monitoring results.

(b) Exposure determinations. Where the employer has determined that no monitoring is required under this standard, the employer shall maintain a record of the objective data relied upon to support the determination that no employee is exposed to formaldehyde at or above the action level.

(c) Medical surveillance. The employer shall establish and maintain an accurate record for each employee subject to medical surveillance under this standard. This record shall include:

(i) The name and Social Security number of the employee;

(ii) The physician's written opinion;

(iii) A list of any employee health complaints that may be related to exposure to formaldehyde; and

(iv) A copy of the medical examination results, including medical disease questionnaires and results of any medical tests required by the standard or mandated by the examining physician.

(d) Records retention. The employer shall retain records required by this standard for at least the following periods:

(i) Exposure records and determinations shall be kept for at least thirty years; and

(ii) Medical records shall be kept for the duration of employment plus thirty years;

(e) Availability of records.

(i) Upon request, the employer shall make all records maintained as a requirement of this standard available for examination and copying to the director of labor and industries, or his/her designated representative.

(ii) The employer shall make employee exposure records, including estimates made from representative monitoring and available upon request for examination and copying, to the subject employee, or former employee, and employee representatives in accordance with chapter 296-802 WAC and WAC 296-800-180.

(iii) Employee medical records required by this standard shall be provided upon request for examination and copying, to the subject employee, or former employee, or to anyone having the specific written consent of the subject employee or former employee in accordance with chapter 296-802 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050, and .060. 06-08-087 (Order 05-12), § 296-62-07540, filed 04/04/06, effective 09/01/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050, and .060. 05-03-093 (Order 04-41), § 296-62-07540, filed 01/18/05, effective 03/01/05. Statutory Authority:  RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050.  02-12-098 (Order 00-20), 296-62-07540, filed 06/05/02, effective 08/01/02.  Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050. 01-11-038, (Order 99-36), 296-62-07540, filed 05/09/01, effective 09/01/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050. 99-10 (Order 98-10) 296-62-07540, filed 05/04/99, effective 09/01/99.] Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 94-15-096 (Order 94-07), 296-62-07540, filed 7/20/94, effective 9/20/94; 92-23-017 (Order 92-13), 296-62-07540, filed 11/10/92, effective 12/18/92; 91-11-070 (Order 91-01), 296-62-07540, filed 5/20/91, effective 6/20/91; 90-03-029 (Order 89-20), 296-62-07540, filed 1/11/90, effective 2/26/90; 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07540, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]


WAC 296-62-07542 Appendix A--Substance technical guideline for formalin.

(1) The following substance technical guideline for formalin provides information on uninhibited formalin solution (thirty-seven percent formaldehyde, no methanol stabilizer). It is designed to inform employees at the production level of their rights and duties under the formaldehyde standard whether their job title defines them as workers or supervisors. Much of the information provided is general; however, some information is specific for formalin. When employee exposure to formaldehyde is from resins capable of releasing formaldehyde, the resin itself and other impurities or decomposition products may also be toxic, and employers should include this information as well when informing employees of the hazards associated with the materials they handle. The precise hazards associated with exposure to formaldehyde depend both on the form (solid, liquid, or gas) of the material and the concentration of formaldehyde present. For example, thirty-seven to fifty percent solutions of formaldehyde present a much greater hazard to the skin and eyes from spills or splashes than solutions containing less than one percent formaldehyde. Individual substance technical guidelines used by the employer for training employees should be modified to properly give information on the material actually being used.

(a) Substance identification.

(i) Chemical name: Formaldehyde.

(ii) Chemical family: Aldehyde.

(iii) Chemical formula: HCHO.

(iv) Molecular weight: 30.03.

(v) Chemical abstracts service number (CAS number): 50-00-0.

Synonyms: Formalin; Formic Aldehyde; Paraform; Formol; Formalin (Methanol-free); Fyde; Formalith; Methanal; Methyl Aldehyde; Methylene Glycol; Methylene Oxide; Tetraoxymethalene; Oxomethane; Oxymethylene.

(b) Components and contaminants.

(i) Percent: 37.0 Formaldehyde.

(ii) Percent: 63.0 water.

Note: Inhibited solutions contain methanol.

(iii) Other contaminants: Formic acid (alcohol free).

Exposure limits:

(A) WISHA TWA-0.75 ppm.

(B) WISHA STEL-2 ppm.

(c) Physical data.

(i) Description: Colorless liquid, pungent odor.

(ii) Boiling point: 214F (101C).

(iii) Specific gravity: 1.08 (H2O = 1 @ 20 C).

(iv) pH: 2.8-4.0.

(v) Solubility in water: Miscible.

(vi) Solvent solubility: Soluble in alcohol and acetone.

(vii) Vapor density: 1.04 (Air = 1 @ 20 C).

(viii) Odor threshold: 0.8-1 ppm.

(d) Fire and explosion hazard.

(i) Moderate fire and explosion hazard when exposed to heat or flame.

(ii) The flash point of thirty-seven percent formaldehyde solutions is above normal room temperature, but the explosion range is very wide, from seven to seventy-three percent by volume in air.

(iii) Reaction of formaldehyde with nitrogen dioxide, nitromethane, perchloric acid and aniline, or peroxyformic acid yields explosive compounds.

(iv) Flash point: 185F (85C) closed cup.

(v) Lower explosion limit: Seven percent.

(vi) Upper explosion limit: Seventy-three percent.

(vii) Autoignition temperature: 806F (430C).

(viii) Flammable class (WISHA): III A.

Extinguishing media:

(I) Use dry chemical, “alcohol foam,” carbon dioxide, or water in flooding amounts as fog. Solid streams may not be effective. Cool fire-exposed containers with water from side until well after fire is out.

(II) Use of water spray to flush spills can also dilute the spill to produce nonflammable mixtures. Water runoff, however, should be contained for treatment.

(ix) National Fire Protection Association Section 325M Designation:

(A) Health: 2-Materials hazardous to health, but areas may be entered with full-faced mask self-contained breathing apparatus which provides eye protection.

(B) Flammability: 2-Materials which must be moderately heated before ignition will occur. Water spray may be used to extinguish the fire because the material can be cooled below its flash point.

(C) Reactivity: D-Materials which (in themselves) are normally stable even under fire exposure conditions and which are not reactive with water. Normal fire fighting procedures may be used.

(e) Reactivity.

(i) Stability: Formaldehyde solutions may self-polymerize to form paraformaldehyde which precipitates.

(ii) Incompatibility (materials to avoid):

(A) Strong oxidizing agents, caustics, strong alkalies, isocyanates, anhydrides, oxides, and inorganic acids.

(B) Formaldehyde reacts with hydrochloric acid to form the potent carcinogen, bis-chloromethyl ether. Formaldehyde reacts with nitrogen dioxide, nitromethane, perchloric acid and aniline, or peroxyformic acid to yield explosive compounds. A violent reaction occurs when formaldehyde is mixed with strong oxidizers.

(C) Hazardous combustion or decomposition products: Oxygen from the air can oxidize formaldehyde to formic acid, especially when heated. Formic acid is corrosive.

(f) Health hazard data.

(i) Acute effects of exposure.

(A) Ingestion (swallowing): Liquids containing ten to forty percent formaldehyde cause severe irritation and inflammation of the mouth, throat, and stomach. Severe stomach pains will follow ingestion with possible loss of consciousness and death. Ingestion of dilute formaldehyde solutions (0.03-0.04%) may cause discomfort in the stomach and pharynx.

(B) Inhalation (breathing):

(I) Formaldehyde is highly irritating to the upper respiratory tract and eyes. Concentrations of 0.5 to 2.0 ppm may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat of some individuals.

(II) Concentrations of 3 to 5 ppm also cause tearing of the eyes and are intolerable to some persons.

(III) Concentrations of 10 to 20 ppm cause difficulty in breathing, burning of the nose and throat, coughing, and heavy tearing of the eyes, and 25 to 30 ppm causes severe respiratory tract injury leading to pulmonary edema and pneumonitis. A concentration of 100 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health. Deaths from accidental exposure to high concentrations of formaldehyde have been reported.

(C) Skin (dermal): Formalin is a severe skin irritant and a sensitizer. Contact with formalin causes white discoloration, smarting, drying, cracking, and scaling. Prolonged and repeated contact can cause numbness and a hardening or tanning of the skin. Previously exposed persons may react to future exposure with an allergic eczematous dermatitis or hives.

(D) Eye contact: Formaldehyde solutions splashed in the eye can cause injuries ranging from transient discomfort to severe, permanent corneal clouding and loss of vision. The severity of the effect depends on the concentration of formaldehyde in the solution and whether or not the eyes are flushed with water immediately after the accident.

Note: The perception of formaldehyde by odor and eye irritation becomes less sensitive with time as one adapts to formaldehyde. This can lead to overexposure if a worker is relying on formaldehyde's warning properties to alert him or her to the potential for exposure.

(E) Acute animal toxicity:

(I) Oral, rats: LD50 = 800 mg/kg.

(II) Oral, mouse: LD50 = 42 mg/kg.

(III) Inhalation, rats: LC50 = 250 mg/kg.

(IV) Inhalation, mouse: LC50 = 900 mg/kg.

(V) Inhalation, rats: LC50 = 590 mg/kg.

(g) Chronic effects of exposure.

(i) Carcinogenicity: Formaldehyde has the potential to cause cancer in humans. Repeated and prolonged exposure increases the risk. Various animal experiments have conclusively shown formaldehyde to be a carcinogen in rats. In humans, formaldehyde exposure has been associated with cancers of the lung, nasopharynx and oropharynx, and nasal passages.

(ii) Mutagenicity: Formaldehyde is genotoxic in several in vitro test systems showing properties of both an initiator and a promoter.

(iii) Toxicity: Prolonged or repeated exposure to formaldehyde may result in respiratory impairment. Rats exposed to formaldehyde at 2 ppm developed benign nasal tumors and changes of the cell structure in the nose as well as inflamed mucous membranes of the nose. Structural changes in the epithelial cells in the human nose have also been observed. Some persons have developed asthma or bronchitis following exposure to formaldehyde, most often as the result of an accidental spill involving a single exposure to a high concentration of formaldehyde.

(h) Emergency and first-aid procedures.

(i) Ingestion (swallowing): If the victim is conscious, dilute, inactivate, or absorb the ingested formaldehyde by giving milk, activated charcoal, or water. Any organic material will inactivate formaldehyde. Keep affected person warm and at rest. Get medical attention immediately. If vomiting occurs, keep head lower than hips.

(ii) Inhalation (breathing): Remove the victim from the exposure area to fresh air immediately. Where the formaldehyde concentration may be very high, each rescuer must put on a self-contained breathing apparatus before attempting to remove the victim, and medical personnel should be informed of the formaldehyde exposure immediately. If breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration. Keep the affected person warm and at rest. Qualified first-aid or medical personnel should administer oxygen, if available, and maintain the patient's airways and blood pressure until the victim can be transported to a medical facility. If exposure results in a highly irritated upper respiratory tract and coughing continues for more than ten minutes, the worker should be hospitalized for observation and treatment.

(iii) Skin contact: Remove contaminated clothing (including shoes) immediately. Wash the affected area of your body with soap or mild detergent and large amounts of water until no evidence of the chemical remains (at least fifteen to twenty minutes). If there are chemical burns, get first aid to cover the area with sterile, dry dressing, and bandages. Get medical attention if you experience appreciable eye or respiratory irritation.

(iv) Eye contact: Wash the eyes immediately with large amounts of water occasionally lifting lower and upper lids, until no evidence of chemical remains (at least fifteen to twenty minutes). In case of burns, apply sterile bandages loosely without medication. Get medical attention immediately. If you have experienced appreciable eye irritation from a splash or excessive exposure, you should be referred promptly to an ophthalmologist for evaluation.

(i) Emergency procedures.

(i) Emergencies:

(A) If you work in an area where a large amount of formaldehyde could be released in an accident or from equipment failure, your employer must develop procedures to be followed in event of an emergency. You should be trained in your specific duties in the event of an emergency, and it is important that you clearly understand these duties. Emergency equipment must be accessible and you should be trained to use any equipment that you might need. Formaldehyde contaminated equipment must be cleaned before reuse.

(B) If a spill of appreciable quantity occurs, leave the area quickly unless you have specific emergency duties. Do not touch spilled material. Designated persons may stop the leak and shut off ignition sources if these procedures can be done without risk. Designated persons should isolate the hazard area and deny entry except for necessary people protected by suitable protective clothing and respirators adequate for the exposure. Use water spray to reduce vapors. Do not smoke, and prohibit all flames or flares in the hazard area.

(ii) Special fire fighting procedures:

(A) Learn procedures and responsibilities in the event of a fire in your workplace.

(B) Become familiar with the appropriate equipment and supplies and their location.

(C) In fire fighting, withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discoloration of storage tank due to fire.

(j) Spill, leak, and disposal procedures.

(i) Occupational spill: For small containers, place the leaking container in a well ventilated area. Take up small spills with absorbent material and place the waste into properly labeled containers for later disposal. For larger spills, dike the spill to minimize contamination and facilitate salvage or disposal. You may be able to neutralize the spill with sodium hydroxide or sodium sulfite. Your employer must comply with EPA rules regarding the clean-up of toxic waste and notify state and local authorities, if required. If the spill is greater than 1,000 lb/day, it is reportable under EPA's superfund legislation.

(ii) Waste disposal: Your employer must dispose of waste containing formaldehyde in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal law and in a manner that minimizes exposure of employees at the site and of the clean-up crew.

(k) Monitoring and measurement procedures.

(i) Monitoring requirements: If your exposure to formaldehyde exceeds the 0.5 ppm action level or the 2 ppm STEL, your employer must monitor your exposure. Your employer need not measure every exposure if a “high exposure” employee can be identified. This person usually spends the greatest amount of time nearest the process equipment. If you are a “representative employee,” you will be asked to wear a sampling device to collect formaldehyde. This device may be a passive badge, a sorbent tube attached to a pump, or an impinger containing liquid. You should perform your work as usual, but inform the person who is conducting the monitoring of any difficulties you are having wearing the device.

(ii) Evaluation of 8-hour exposure: Measurements taken for the purpose of determining time-weighted average (TWA) exposures are best taken with samples covering the full shift. Samples collected must be taken from the employee's breathing zone air.

(iii) Short-term exposure evaluation: If there are tasks that involve brief but intense exposure to formaldehyde, employee exposure must be measured to assure compliance with the STEL. Sample collections are for brief periods, only fifteen minutes, but several samples may be needed to identify the peak exposure.

(iv) Monitoring techniques: WISHA's only requirement for selecting a method for sampling and analysis is that the methods used accurately evaluate the concentration of formaldehyde in employees' breathing zones. Sampling and analysis may be performed by collection of formaldehyde on liquid or solid sorbents with subsequent chemical analysis. Sampling and analysis may also be performed by passive diffusion monitors and short-term exposure may be measured by instruments such as real-time continuous monitoring systems and portable direct reading instruments.

(v) Notification of results: Your employer must inform you of the results of exposure monitoring representative of your job. You may be informed in writing, but posting the results where you have ready access to them constitutes compliance with the standard.

(l) Protective equipment and clothing.

(Material impervious to formaldehyde is needed if the employee handles formaldehyde solutions of one percent or more. Other employees may also require protective clothing or equipment to prevent dermatitis.)

(i) Respiratory protection. Use NIOSH-approved full facepiece negative pressure respirators equipped with approved cartridges or canisters within the use limitations of these devices. (Present restrictions on cartridges and canisters do not permit them to be used for a full workshift.) In all other situations, use positive pressure respirators such as the positive-pressure air purifying respirator or the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

(ii) Protective gloves:

(A) Wear protective (impervious) gloves provided by your employer, at no cost, to prevent contact with formalin.

(B) Your employer should select these gloves based on the results of permeation testing and in accordance with the ACGIH guidelines for selection of chemical protective clothing.

(iii) Eye protection:

(A) If you might be splashed in the eyes with formalin, it is essential that you wear goggles or some other type of complete protection for the eye.

(B) You may also need a face shield if your face is likely to be splashed with formalin, but you must not substitute face shields for eye protection. (This section pertains to formaldehyde solutions of one percent or more.)

(iv) Other protective equipment:

(A) You must wear protective (impervious) clothing and equipment provided by your employer at no cost to prevent repeated or prolonged contact with formaldehyde liquids.

(B) If you are required to change into whole-body chemical protective clothing, your employer must provide a change room for your privacy and for storage of your normal clothing.

(C) If you are splashed with formaldehyde, use the emergency showers and eyewash fountains provided by your employer immediately to prevent serious injury. Report the incident to your supervisor and obtain necessary medical support.

(2) Entry into an IDLH atmosphere. Enter areas where the formaldehyde concentration might be 100 ppm or more only with complete body protection including a self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in a positive pressure mode or a supplied-air respirator with full facepiece and operated in a positive pressure mode. This equipment is essential to protect your life and health under such extreme conditions.

(a) Engineering controls.

(i) Ventilation is the most widely applied engineering control method for reducing the concentration of airborne substances in the breathing zones of workers. There are two distinct types of ventilation.

(ii) Local exhaust: Local exhaust ventilation is designed to capture airborne contaminants as near to the point of generation as possible. To protect you, the direction of contaminant flow must always be toward the local exhaust system inlet and away from you.

(iii) General (mechanical):

(A) General dilution ventilation involves continuous introduction of fresh air into the workroom to mix with the contaminated air and lower your breathing zone concentration of formaldehyde. Effectiveness depends on the number of air changes per hour.

(B) Where devices emitting formaldehyde are spread out over a large area, general dilution ventilation may be the only practical method of control.

(iv) Work practices: Work practices and administrative procedures are an important part of a control system. If you are asked to perform a task in a certain manner to limit your exposure to formaldehyde, it is extremely important that you follow these procedures.

(b) Medical surveillance.

(i) Medical surveillance helps to protect employees' health. You are encouraged strongly to participate in the medical surveillance program.

(ii) Your employer must make a medical surveillance program available at no expense to you and at a reasonable time and place if you are exposed to formaldehyde at concentrations above 0.5 ppm as an 8-hour average or 2 ppm over any fifteen-minute period.

(A) You will be offered medical surveillance at the time of your initial assignment and once a year afterward as long as your exposure is at least 0.5 ppm (action level) or 2 ppm (STEL).

(B) Even if your exposure is below these levels, you should inform your employer if you have signs and symptoms that you suspect, through your training, are related to your formaldehyde exposure because you may need medical surveillance to determine if your health is being impaired by your exposure.

(iii) The surveillance plan includes:

(A) A medical disease questionnaire.

(B) A physical examination if the physician determines this is necessary.

(iv) If you are required to wear a respirator, your employer must offer you a physical examination and a pulmonary function test every year.

(v) The physician must collect all information needed to determine if you are at increased risk from your exposure to formaldehyde. At the physician's discretion, the medical examination may include other tests, such as a chest x-ray, to make this determination.

(vi) After a medical examination the physician will provide your employer with a written opinion which includes any special protective measures recommended and any restrictions on your exposure. The physician must inform you of any medical conditions you have which would be aggravated by exposure to formaldehyde. All records from your medical examinations, including disease surveys, must be retained at your employer's expense.

(c) Emergencies.

(i) If you are exposed to formaldehyde in an emergency and develop signs or symptoms associated with acute toxicity from formaldehyde exposure, your employer must provide you with a medical examination as soon as possible.

(ii) This medical examination will include all steps necessary to stabilize your health.

(iii) You may be kept in the hospital for observation if your symptoms are severe to ensure that any delayed effects are recognized and treated.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, .040, .050. 99-17-094 (Order 99-01, 296-62-07542, filed 08/17/99, effective 12/01/99. Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 94-15-096 (Order 94-07), 296-62-07542, filed 7/20/94, effective 9/20/94; 92-23-017 (Order 92-13), 296-62-07542, filed 11/10/92, effective 12/18/92; 88-21-002 (Order 88-23), 296-62-07542, filed 10/6/88, effective 11/7/88.]

296-62 Part I (Continued)

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