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This guideline summarizes pertinent information about turpentine 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 Recommendations may be superseded by new developments in these fields; readers are therefore advised to regard these recommendations as general guidelines and to determine periodically whether new information is available.
C(10)H(16) (approximate formula); turpentine has a minimum alpha-pinene content of 40 percent by weight
(For Structure, see paper copy)
Gum spirits, turps, gum thus, D.D. turpentine, wood turpentine, oil of turpentine, rectified turpentine oil, spirits of turpentine, sulfate wood turpentine, sulfate turpentine, gum turpentine, steam-distilled turpentine.
Turpentine is a volatile mixture of hydrocarbon isomers obtained either from pine gum or pine wood. Gum turpentine is a yellowish, sticky, opaque, combustible material; the wood distillate (oil of turpentine) is a flammable, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor.
CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
* Physical data (properties vary with the specific product)
The National Fire Protection Association has assigned a flammability rating of 3 (severe fire hazard) to turpentine.
Fires involving turpentine should be fought upwind and from the maximum distance possible. Keep unnecessary people away; isolate hazard area and deny entry. Emergency personnel should stay out of low areas and ventilate closed spaces before entering. Vapor explosion and poison hazards may occur indoors, outdoors, or in sewers. Vapors may travel to a source of ignition and flash back. Containers of turpentine may explode in the heat of the fire and should be moved from the fire area if it is possible to do so safely. If this is not possible, cool containers from the sides with water until well after the fire is out. Stay away from the ends of containers. Personnel should withdraw immediately if a rising sound from a venting safety device is heard or if there is discoloration of a container due to fire. Dikes should be used to contain fire-control water for later disposal. If a tank car or truck is involved in a fire, personnel should isolate an area of a half a mile in all directions. Firefighters should wear a full set of protective clothing, including a self-contained breathing apparatus, when fighting fires involving turpentine. Firefighters' protective clothing may provide limited protection against fires involving turpentine.
The odor threshold for turpentine is 200 parts per million (ppm) parts of air. Because this value is above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) current permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 100 ppm [29 CFR 1910.1000, Table Z-1-A], turpentine is considered to have inadequate warning properties.
* Eye irritation properties
The eye irritation threshold for turpentine is 175 ppm.
The current OSHA PEL for turpentine is 100 ppm (560 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m(3)) of air) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration [29 CFR 1910.1000, Table Z-1-A]. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has not issued a recommended exposure limit (REL) for turpentine; however, NIOSH concurs with the PEL established for this substance by OSHA [NIOSH 1988]. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned turpentine a threshold limit value (TLV) of 100 ppm (560 mg/m(3)) as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek [ACGIH 1988, p. 38]. The OSHA and ACGIH limits are based on the risk of irritation associated with exposure to turpentine.
HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
* Routes of exposure
Exposure to turpentine can occur via inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption.
* Summary of toxicology
In the event of an emergency, remove the victim from further exposure, send for medical assistance, and initiate the following emergency procedures:
The following operations may involve turpentine and lead to worker exposures to this substance:
Workers who may be exposed to chemical hazards should be monitored in a systematic program of medical surveillance that is intended to prevent occupational injury and disease. The program should include education of employers and workers about work-related hazards, placement of workers in jobs that do not jeopardize their safety or health, early detection of adverse health effects, and referral of workers for diagnosis and treatment. The occurrence of disease or other work-related adverse health effects should prompt immediate evaluation of primary preventive measures (e.g., industrial hygiene monitoring, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment). A medical monitoring program is intended to supplement, not replace, such measures. To place workers effectively and to detect and control work-related health effects, medical evaluations should be performed (1) before job placement, (2) periodically during the period of employment, and (3) at the time of job transfer or termination.
* Preplacement medical evaluation
Before a worker is placed in a job with a potential for exposure to turpentine, the examining physician should evaluate and document the worker's baseline health status with thorough medical, environmental, and occupational histories, a physical examination, and physiologic and laboratory tests appropriate for the anticipated occupational risks. These should concentrate on the function and integrity of the kidneys, skin, and respiratory system. Medical monitoring for respiratory disease should be conducted using the principles and methods recommended by NIOSH and the American Thoracic Society.
A preplacement medical evaluation is recommended to assess an individual's suitability for employment at a specific job and to detect and assess medical conditions that may be aggravated or may result in increased risk when a worker is exposed to turpentine at or below the prescribed exposure limit. The examining physician should consider the probable frequency, intensity, and duration of exposure as well as the nature and degree of any applicable medical condition. Such conditions (which should not be regarded as absolute contraindications to job placement) include a history and other findings consistent with diseases of the kidneys or skin, skin allergies, or chronic respiratory disease.
* Periodic medical examinations and biological monitoring
Occupational health interviews and physical examinations should be performed at regular intervals during the employment period, as mandated by any applicable Federal, State, or local standard. Where no standard exists and the hazard is minimal, evaluations should be conducted every 3 to 5 years or as frequently as recommended by an experienced occupational health physician. Additional examinations may be necessary if a worker develops symptoms attributable to turpentine exposure. The interviews, examinations, and medical screening tests should focus on identifying the adverse effects of turpentine on the kidneys, skin, or respiratory system. Current health status should be compared with the baseline health status of the individual worker or with expected values for a suitable reference population.
Biological monitoring involves sampling and analyzing body tissues or fluids to provide an index of exposure to a toxic substance or metabolite. No biological monitoring test acceptable for routine use has yet been developed for turpentine.
* Medical examinations recommended at the time of job transfer or termination
The medical, environmental, and occupational history interviews, the physical examination, and selected physiologic or laboratory tests that were conducted at the time of placement should be repeated at the time of job transfer or termination to determine the worker's medical status at the end of his or her employment. Any changes in the worker's health status should be compared with those expected for a suitable reference population. Because occupational exposure to turpentine may cause diseases with prolonged latent periods, the need for medical monitoring may extend well beyond the termination of employment.
WORKPLACE MONITORING AND MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES
Determination of a worker's exposure to airborne turpentine is made using a charcoal tube (100/50 mg sections, 20/40 mesh). Samples are collected at a maximum flow rate of 0.2 liter per minute until a maximum air volume of 10 liters is collected. The sample is then treated with carbon disulfide to extract the turpentine. Analysis is conducted by gas chromatography using a flame ionization detector. This method has a sampling and analytical error of 0.09 and is included in Method 1551 of the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, 3rd edition, Volume 2 [NIOSH 1984].
PERSONAL HYGIENE PROCEDURES
If turpentine contacts the skin, workers should immediately wash the affected areas with soap and water.
Clothing contaminated with turpentine 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 turpentine, particularly its potential to cause dermatitis or chemical burns.
A worker who handles turpentine should thoroughly wash hands and face with soap and water before eating, using tobacco products, or using toilet facilities.
Workers should not eat, drink, or use tobacco products in areas where turpentine or a solution containing turpentine is handled, processed, or stored.
Turpentine 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]. Turpentine can undergo autoxidation in contact with air and can generate heat that may spontaneously ignite in a confined space. Containers of turpentine should be protected from physical damage and should be stored separately from strong oxidizers (especially chlorine), heat, sparks, and open flame. Only nonsparking tools may be used to handle turpentine. To prevent static sparks, containers should be grounded and bonded for transfers. Because containers that formerly contained turpentine may still hold product residues, they should be handled appropriately.
SPILLS AND LEAKS
In the event of a spill or leak involving turpentine, 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:
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory requirements for emergency planning, community right-to-know, and hazardous waste management may vary over time. Users are therefore advised to determine periodically whether new information is available.
* Emergency planning requirements
Turpentine is not subject to EPA emergency planning requirements under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (Title III).
* Reportable quantity requirements (releases of hazardous substances)
Employers are not required by the emergency release notification provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) [40 CFR Part 355.40] to notify the National Response Center of an accidental release of turpentine; there is no reportable quantity for this substance.
* Community right-to-know requirements
Employers are not required by Section 313 of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) to submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory form (Form R) to EPA reporting the amount of turpentine 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), EPA has specifically listed many chemical wastes as hazardous. Although turpentine is not specifically listed as a hazardous waste under RCRA, EPA requires employers to treat any waste as hazardous if it exhibits any of the characteristics discussed above.
Providing more information about the removal and disposal of specific chemicals is beyond the scope of this guideline. EPA, U.S. Department of Transportation, 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 (202) 382-3000 (in Washington, D.C.) 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 turpentine 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 emergency situations. If the use of respirators is necessary, the only respirators permitted are those 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 (see Table 1), an evaluation of the worker's ability to perform the work while wearing a respirator, the regular training of personnel, 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 NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic [NIOSH 1987c] and the NIOSH Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection [NIOSH 1987a].
Table 1 lists the respiratory protection that NIOSH recommends for workers exposed to turpentine. The recommended protection may vary over time because of changes in the exposure limit for turpentine or in respirator certification requirements. Users are therefore advised to determine periodically whether new information is available.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Protective clothing should be worn to prevent skin contact with turpentine. Gloves and other personal protective equipment are recommended as necessary to prevent skin contact. Chemical protective clothing should be selected on the basis of available performance data, manufacturers' recommendations, and evaluation of the clothing under actual conditions of use. Materials that may withstand permeation by turpentine for more than 4 but fewer than 8 hours are polyvinyl alcohol and Teflon. Nitrile, polyethylene, and a neoprene and natural rubber mixture have demonstrated poor resistance to permeation by turpentine.
If turpentine is dissolved in an organic solvent, the permeation properties of both the solvent and the mixture must be considered when selecting personal protective equipment and clothing.
Safety glasses, goggles, or faceshields should be worn during operations in which turpentine might contact the eyes (e.g., through splashes of solution). Eyewash fountains and emergency showers should be available within the immediate work area whenever the potential exists for eye or skin contact with turpentine. Contact lenses should not be worn if the potential exists for turpentine exposure.
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* The OSHA PEL is 100 ppm (560 mg/m(3)) as an 8-hour TWA. No NIOSH REL has been issued.
** Only NIOSH/MSHA-approved equipment should be used. Also note the following:
1. Respirators accepted for use at higher concentrations may be used at lower concentrations; respirators must not, however, be used at concentrations higher than those for which they are approved.
2. Air-purifying respirators are not listed due to the inadequate odor warning properties of turpentine.
(+) Only full-facepiece respirators should be used in atmospheres of turpentine above 175 ppm because of its irritant effects on the eyes.
(++) The turpentine concentration that is immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) is 1900 ppm [NIOSH 1987b].