Hydrogen Peroxide

Purpose:

  • To assess airborne exposure for staff who work in areas where hydrogen peroxide is used.
  • To document compliance with current Federal Regulations.
  • To assess the effectiveness of exposure control measures in areas where hydrogen peroxide is used.
  • To insure that there are no significant leaks from equipment that uses hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid with a somewhat sharp odor.  It is usually handled as an aqueous solution containing up to 90% hydrogen peroxide.  Hydrogen peroxide vapor is irritating to the eyes, nose and throat.  If inhaled, it can cause dizziness, headaches, difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness.  It is a strong irritant to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit for an 8-hour day is 1.0 part per million (ppm) and the concentration immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) is 75 ppm.

Assessment of airborne exposure to staff will assure that the major health threats of hydrogen peroxide will not occur during normal operations.  Sampling for hydrogen peroxide will provide a means for determining the effectiveness of administrative, engineering and work practice controls.  Hydrogen peroxide monitoring should be completed in all locations where there is a potential for overexposure, including dialysis, sterile processing and any other areas where it is used.