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This guideline summarizes pertinent information about tin oxide 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 Recommendations may be superseded by new developments in these fields; readers are therefore advised to regard these recommendations as general guidelines and to determine whether new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)
Stannous oxide, tin protoxide, tin monoxide, tin (II) oxide
Tin oxide is a brownish-black powder.
CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
* Physical data
The National Fire Protection Association has not assigned a flammability rating to tin oxide.
* OSHA PEL
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not currently regulate tin oxide.
* NIOSH REL
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a recommended exposure limit (REL) for tin oxide (as Sn) of 2 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) of air as a TWA for up to a 10-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek [NIOSH 1992].
* ACGIH TLV
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned tin oxide (as Sn) a threshold limit value (TLV) of 2 mg/m3 as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek [ACGIH 1994, p. 34].
* Rationale for Limits
The NIOSH limit is based on the risk of reduced pulmonary capacity and stannosis [NIOSH 1992].
The ACGIH limit is based on the risk of stannosis [ACGIH 1991, p. 1551].
HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
* Routes of Exposure
Exposure to tin oxide can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and eye or skin contact.
* Summary of toxicology
* Emergency medical procedures: [NIOSH to supply]
The following operations may involve tin oxide and lead to worker exposures to this substance:
* The manufacture and transportation of tin oxide
* Use as reducing agent and as an intermediate for the production of stannous salts used in the plating, glass, and pharmaceutical industries, and also used in soft abrasives
Methods that are effective in controlling worker exposures to tin oxide, depending on the feasibility of implementation, are as follows:
* Process enclosure
* Local exhaust ventilation
* General dilution ventilation
* Personal protective equipment
Workers responding to a release or potential release of a hazardous substance must be protected as required by paragraph (q) of OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard [29 CFR 1910.120].
Good sources of information about control methods are as follows:
Determination of a worker's exposure to airborne tin oxide is made using a mixed cellulose ester filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns. Samples are collected at a recommended flow rate of 2.0 liters/minute until a minimum collection volume of 480 liters is reached (recommended volume is 960 liters). Analysis is conducted by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). This method is described in the OSHA Computerized Information System [OSHA 1994] and is not yet validated.
PERSONAL HYGIENE PROCEDURES
If tin oxide contacts the skin, workers should flush the affected areas with of water, followed by washing with soap and water.
Clothing contaminated with tin oxide 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 tin oxide.
A worker who handles tin oxide 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 tin oxide or a solution containing tin oxide is handled, processed, or stored.
Tin oxide 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 tin oxide should be protected from physical damage and should be stored separately from acids or alkalies.
SPILLS AND LEAKS
In the event of a spill or leak involving tin oxide, 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
Tin oxide 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
A hazardous substance release is defined by EPA as any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of contaminated containers) of hazardous substances. In the event of a release that is above the reportable quantity for that chemical, employers are required to notify the proper Federal, State, and local authorities [40 CFR 355.40].
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 tin oxide; 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 tin oxide 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 tin oxide 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 tin oxide 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 tin oxide. 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 tin oxide. There are no published reports on the resistance of various materials to permeation by tin oxide.
To evaluate the use of PPE materials with tin oxide, 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 tin oxide.
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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