Meth Lab Cleanup >> Legal Consequences For Meth Labs

For chemicals which are absorbed through the skin and which are hazardous, the levels of exposure on the skin must be maintained below a level at which no adverse effects would be observed. Legal Consequences For Meth Labs One of the simplest ways of determining this amount is to estimate the amount of a chemical which can be absorbed into the body based upon an air exposure limit. For example, the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for methylenedianiline (MDA) is 0.1 part per million (ppm), or 0.81 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3).
 
 If we assume that the average employee breathes 10 m3 of air a day, and further assume that all of the MDA is absorbed from the Legal Consequences For Meth Labs air at the PEL, then the maximum allowable dose to the body per day becomes: (0.81 mg/m3)(10 m3) = 8.1 mg maximum allowable dose to the body for MDAIn addition to using OSHA PELs, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) or internal corporate air concentration values can also be used to establish the maximum allowable dose in the same manner.
 
This method assumes that the toxic effects of the chemical are systemic and that the toxicity of the chemical is independent of the route of exposure.The lethal dose to the skin which results in death to 50% of exposed animals (LD50 dermal) is also a useful Legal Consequences For Meth Labs comparative means of assessing dermal exposure hazards. The OSHA definition of a toxic chemical (defined in 29 CFR 1910.1200 App. A) as it relates to skin exposure is a chemical which has a "median lethal dose (LD50) of more than 200 milligrams per kilogram but not more than 1000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) with the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing between two and three kilograms each."
 
 If available, the no observable effect level (NOEL) can also be useful in establishing a safe exposure level. Skin notations or skin designations for chemicals listed as ACGIH TLVs or the OSHA PELs are also useful guides; however, many chemicals (e.g., hexone, xylene Legal Consequences For Meth Labs and perchloroethylene) which can pose a dermal hazard are not designated. A. Estimating the Extent of Absorption of Chemicals through Skin For exposure to chemicals which are recognized as systemic toxins, that is, chemicals which are toxic once absorbed into the bloodstream, the route of exposure to the chemical is not important.
 
Hence, the maximum allowable dose can be used as a basis for determining if a chemical poses a skin exposure hazard.The Legal Consequences For Meth Labs extent of absorption of a chemical through the skin is a function of the area of the exposed skin, the amount of the chemical, the concentration of the chemical on the skin, the rate of absorption (flux rate) into the skin, and the length of time exposed.5 Assume for example, that an employee has contact on the interior portion of both hands to a solution of phenol (10% solution by weight) for two hours.
 
 Approximately how much phenol would be absorbed? The Legal Consequences For Meth Labs flux rate, J, is determined by: J = (Kp)(Concentration of Chemical on Skin) Kp for phenol = 0.0043 cm/h (Kp values available from Exhibit B-2 in EPA Dermal guide6)(Kp – skin permeability coefficient) Thus, at a concentration of 10% by weight (10 g/100 cm3, 10,000 mg/100 cm3, or 100 mg/cm3)J = (0.0043 cm/h)(100 mg/cm3) = 0.43 mg/(cm2•h)(flux rate) Hence, under these conditions, 0.43 mg of phenol will be absorbed through the skin per cm2 of exposed skin per hour.
 
Therefore, the absorbed dose of phenol through the skin of an employee's two hands (both palms exposed – approximate area: 840 cm2) would be determined by: Absorbed Dose = (840 cm2)(0.43 mg/( cm2•h)) (2 h) = 722 mg absorbed over a 2-hour period. This compares to an allowable dose (PEL = 19 mg/m3) via the lung for an 8-hour exposure of (19 mg/m3)(10 m3) = 190 mg. Hence, this 2-hour exposure via Legal Consequences For Meth Labs the skin would represent absorption of phenol which is 3.8 times the allowable dose via the lung. The following hypothetical example illustrates the relative importance of skin absorption as a factor in exposure. Let us assume that an employee is wearing gloves and the gloves are exposed to a phenol solution.
 
Let us further assume that the penetration through the gloves is detected by a hand wipe sample, and that 75 mg of phenol is reported Legal Consequences For Meth Labs present from a water hand rinse of the employee’s hands taken before lunch. Let us further assume that the amount of phenol detected inside the glove at the lunch break represents a uniform constant exposure which occurred shortly after the beginning of the work shift.
 
Finally, let us further assume that the 75 mg of phenol is Legal Consequences For Meth Labs present in approximately 10 milliliter (mL) of water (perspiration) present on the surface of the skin. How much phenol was absorbed in the 8-hour period? First, we determine the flux rate: J = (0.0043 cm/h)(75 mg/10 cm3) = 0.0322 mg/(cm2•h) (flux rate) Absorbed Dose = (840 cm2)(0.0322 mg)/(cm2•h)(8 h) = 216 mg of phenol absorbed Hence, the estimated amount of phenol absorbed into the body is greater than the maximum allowable amount of phenol based upon inhalation of 190 mg.
 
B. Glove Permeability Penetration of chemicals through gloves is similar to the penetration of chemicals through the skin. Glove manufacturers publish breakthrough data which reflect the length of time which occurs before a chemical penetrates through a particular type Legal Consequences For Meth Labs of glove material. These tests are performed using ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Method F 739 in which a pure, or neat, chemical is placed on one side of a section of the glove material and the time to penetrate through the glove is measured by analyzing the air on the other side of the glove to detect chemical breakthrough.
 
Unfortunately, these breakthrough times can be misleading because actual breakthrough times will typically be less than reported by the manufacturer. This is the case because the temperature of skin is greater than the test temperature, and this results in an increased Legal Consequences For Meth Labs permeability rate. Secondly, glove thinning occurs along pressure points where an employee may grip a tool or otherwise exert pressure on an object while wearing a glove. Glove degradation and reuse of gloves can also dramatically reduce the effectiveness of a glove’s chemical permeability.
 
Additionally, only limited breakthrough data for solvent mixtures is available and in many cases the breakthrough time for a solvent mixture is considerably less than would be predicted from the individual breakthrough times for each of the individual Legal Consequences For Meth Labs solvent components. Finally, batch variability can also result in wide variations in breakthrough times from one glove to the next.7 These differences, and possibly greater differences, would be expected to occur when comparing a similar glove type produced by different manufacturers.

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