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This guideline summarizes pertinent information about isopropyl acetate for workers and employers as well as for physicians, industrial hygienists, and other occupational safety and health professionals who may need such information to conduct effective occupational safety and health programs. Recommendations may be superseded by new developments in these fields; readers are therefore advised to regard these recommendations as general guidelines and to determine whether new information is available.
(For Structure, see paper copy)
Isooctanol, 2-ethylhexanol, 2-ethylhexyl alcohol, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol
Isooctyl alcohol is a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor. Isooctyl alcohol consists of a mixture of closely related isomeric primary alcohols with branched chains having the general formula R-CH(2)OH. An odor threshold of 0.138 part per million (ppm) parts of air with 100% recognition has been reported.
CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
* Physical data
The National Fire Protection Association has assigned a flammability rating of 2 (moderate fire hazard) to isooctyl alcohol.
* OSHA PEL
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not currently regulate isooctyl alcohol.
* NIOSH REL
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a recommended exposure limit (REL) for isooctyl alcohol of 50 ppm (270 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m(3))) as a TWA for up to a 10-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek. NIOSH also assigns a "Skin" notation, which indicates that the cutaneous route of exposure, including mucous membranes and eyes, contributes to overall exposure [NIOSH 1992].
* ACGIH TLV
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned isooctyl alcohol a threshold limit value (TLV) of 50 ppm (266 mg/m(3)) as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek. The ACGIH also assigns a "Skin" notation to isooctyl alcohol [ACGIH 1994, p. 24].
* Rationale for Limits
The NIOSH limit is based on the risk of conjunctival irritation (reported in animals) [NIOSH 1992].
The ACGIH limit is based on the risk of irritation [ACGIH 1991, p. 817].
HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
* Routes of Exposure
Exposure to isooctyl alcohol can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and eye or skin contact.
* Summary of toxicology
* Emergency procedures
WARNING! Seek immediate medical attention for severely affected victims or for victims with signs and symptoms of toxicity or irritation!
Keep unconscious victims warm and on their sides to avoid choking if vomiting occurs. Initiate the following emergency procedures:
The following operations may involve isooctyl alcohol and lead to worker exposures to this substance:
Good sources of information about control methods are as follows:
Determination of a worker's exposure to airborne isooctyl alcohol is made using a charcoal tube (100 mg/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh). Samples are collected at a maximum flow rate of 0.2 liter/minute until a maximum collection volume of 10 liters is reached. The sample is then treated with a 99:1 carbon disulfide:dimethyl formamide solvent. Analysis is conducted by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. This method is described in the OSHA Computerized Information System [OSHA 1994]. Note: This method is currently partially validated.
PERSONAL HYGIENE PROCEDURES
If isooctyl alcohol contacts the skin, workers should immediately wash the affected areas with soap and water.
Clothing contaminated with isooctyl alcohol should be removed immediately, and provisions should be made for the safe removal of the chemical from the clothing. Persons laundering the clothes should be informed of the hazardous properties of isooctyl alcohol, particularly its potential for causing sensory irritation. A worker who handles isooctyl alcohol should thoroughly wash hands, forearms, and face with soap and water before eating, using tobacco products, using toilet facilities, applying cosmetics, or taking medication.
Workers should not eat, drink, use tobacco products, apply cosmetics, or take medication in areas where isooctyl alcohol or a solution containing isooctyl alcohol is handled, processed, or stored.
Isooctyl alcohol should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area in tightly sealed containers that are labeled in accordance with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard [29 CFR 1910.1200]. Containers of isooctyl alcohol should be protected from physical damage and exposure to heat, sparks, or open flames and should be stored separately from strong oxidizers.
SPILLS AND LEAKS
In the event of a spill or leak involving isooctyl alcohol, persons not wearing protective equipment and clothing should be restricted from contaminated areas until cleanup has been completed. The following steps should be undertaken following a spill or leak:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for emergency planning, reportable quantities of hazardous releases, community right-to-know, and hazardous waste management may change over time. Users are therefore advised to determine periodically whether new information is available.
* Emergency planning requirements
Isooctyl alcohol is not subject to EPA emergency planning requirements under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) (Title III) in 42 USC 11022.
* Reportable quantity requirements for hazardous releases
Employers are not required by the emergency release notification provisions in 40 CFR Part 355.40 to notify the National Response Center of an accidental release of isooctyl alcohol; there is no reportable quantity for this substance.
* Community right-to-know requirements
Employers are not required by EPA in 40 CFR Part 372.30 to submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory form (Form R) to EPA reporting the amount of isooctyl alcohol emitted or released from their facility annually.
* Hazardous waste management requirements
EPA considers a waste to be hazardous if it exhibits any of the following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity as defined in 40 CFR 261.21-261.24. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) [40 USC 6901 et seq.], EPA has specifically listed many chemical wastes as hazardous. Although isooctyl alcohol is not specifically listed as a hazardous waste under RCRA, EPA requires employers to treat waste as hazardous if it exhibits any of the characteristics discussed above.
Providing detailed information about the removal and disposal of specific chemicals is beyond the scope of this guideline. The U.S. Department of Transportation, EPA, and State and local regulations should be followed to ensure that removal, transport, and disposal of this substance are conducted in accordance with existing regulations. To be certain that chemical waste disposal meets EPA regulatory requirements, employers should address any questions to the RCRA hotline at (703) 412-9810 (in the Washington, D.C. area) or toll-free at (800) 424-9346 (outside Washington, D.C.). In addition, relevant State and local authorities should be contacted for information on any requirements they may have for the waste removal and disposal of this substance.
* Conditions for respirator use
Good industrial hygiene practice requires that engineering controls be used where feasible to reduce workplace concentrations of hazardous materials to the prescribed exposure limit. However, some situations may require the use of respirators to control exposure. Respirators must be worn if the ambient concentration of isooctyl alcohol exceeds prescribed exposure limits. Respirators may be used (1) before engineering controls have been installed, (2) during work operations such as maintenance or repair activities that involve unknown exposures, (3) during operations that require entry into tanks or closed vessels, and (4) during emergencies. Workers should only use respirators that have been approved by NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
* Respiratory protection program
Employers should institute a complete respiratory protection program that, at a minimum, complies with the requirements of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard [29 CFR 1910.134]. Such a program must include respirator selection, an evaluation of the worker's ability to perform the work while wearing a respirator, the regular training of personnel, respirator fit testing, periodic workplace monitoring, and regular respirator maintenance, inspection, and cleaning. The implementation of an adequate respiratory protection program (including selection of the correct respirator) requires that a knowledgeable person be in charge of the program and that the program be evaluated regularly. For additional information on the selection and use of respirators and on the medical screening of respirator users, consult the latest edition of the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic [NIOSH 1987b] and the NIOSH Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection [NIOSH 1987a].
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Workers should use appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment that must be carefully selected, used, and maintained to be effective in preventing skin contact with isooctyl alcohol. The selection of the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., gloves, sleeves, encapsulating suits) should be based on the extent of the worker's potential exposure to isooctyl alcohol. The resistance of various materials to permeation by isooctyl alcohol is shown below:
(*) Not recommended, degradation may occur
To evaluate the use of these materials with isooctyl alcohol, users should consult the best available performance data and manufacturers' recommendations. Significant differences have been demonstrated in the chemical resistance of generically similar PPE materials (e.g., butyl) produced by different manufacturers. In addition, the chemical resistance of a mixture may be significantly different from that of any of its neat components.
Any chemical-resistant clothing that is used should be periodically evaluated to determine its effectiveness in preventing dermal contact. Safety showers and eye wash stations should be located close to operations that involve isooctyl alcohol.
Splash-proof chemical safety goggles or face shields (20 to 30 cm long, minimum) should be worn during any operation in which a solvent, caustic, or other toxic substance may be splashed into the eyes.
In addition to the possible need for wearing protective outer apparel (e.g., aprons, encapsulating suits), workers should wear work uniforms, coveralls, or similar full-body coverings that are laundered each day. Employers should provide lockers or other closed areas to store work and street clothing separately. Employers should collect work clothing at the end of each work shift and provide for its laundering. Laundry personnel should be informed about the potential hazards of handling contaminated clothing and instructed about measures to minimize their health risk.
Protective clothing should be kept free of oil and grease and should be inspected and maintained regularly to preserve its effectiveness.
Protective clothing may interfere with the body's heat dissipation, especially during hot weather or during work in hot or poorly ventilated work environments.
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