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This guideline summarizes pertinent information about zinc chloride fume 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 Recommendations may be superseded by new developments in these fields; readers are therefore advised to regard these recommendations as general guidelines and to determine periodically whether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.
(For Structure, see paper copy)* Synonyms
Butter of zinc fume, zinc dichloride fume, tinning flux fume3* Identifiers
1. CAS 7646-85-7.* Appearance and odor
Zinc chloride fume is a finely divided white powder; this substance is not combustible and has an acrid odor.CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
* Physical data
1. Molecular weight: 136.3.* Reactivity
1. Conditions contributing to instability: None.* Flammability
There is no National Fire Protection Association fire hazard rating for zinc chloride fume; this substance is not combustible.1. Flash point: Not applicable.
2. Autoignition temperature: Not applicable.
3. Flammable limits in air: Not applicable.
4. Extinguishant: Zinc chloride fume is not combustible; use an extinguishant that is suitable for the material involved in the surrounding fire.
* Warning properties
No quantitative data are available on the odor threshold for zinc chloride fume. This substance is therefore considered to have inadequate odor warning properties.* Eye irritation properties
No quantitative data are available on the eye irritation threshold for zinc chloride fume; however, this substance is known to be a severe eye irritant.EXPOSURE LIMITS
The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) for zinc chloride fume is 1 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m(3)) of air as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration and 2 mg/m(3) as a 15-minute TWA short-term exposure limit (STEL). A STEL is the maximum 15-minute concentration to which workers may be exposed during any 15-minute period of the working day [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 zinc chloride fume; however, NIOSH concurs with the PEL established for this substance by OSHA [NIOSH 1988]. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned zinc chloride fume a threshold limit value (TLV) of 1 mg/m(3) as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2 mg/m(3) for periods not to exceed 15 minutes [ACGIH 1988, p. 38]. The OSHA and ACGIH limits are based on the risk of respiratory irritation associated with exposure to zinc chloride fume.
HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
* Routes of Exposure
Exposure to zinc chloride fume can occur via inhalation and eye or skin contact.* Summary of toxicology
1. Effects on Animals: No data exist on the acute or chronic toxicity of zinc chloride fume in experimental animals.* Signs and symptoms of exposure
1. Acute exposure: The signs and symptoms of acute exposure to zinc chloride fume include conjunctivitis, irritation of the nose and throat, hoarseness, cough, dyspnea, wheezing, rales, rhonchi, chest tightness and/or pain, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, listlessness, lightheadedness, and a metallic taste in the mouth.EMERGENCY MEDICAL PROCEDURES
In the event of an emergency, remove the victim from further exposure, send for medical assistance, and initiate the following emergency procedures:
1. Eye exposure: If zinc chloride fume gets into the eyes, immediately flush the eyes with large amounts of water for a minimum of 15 minutes, lifting the lower and upper lids occasionally. Get medical attention as soon as possible.EXPOSURE SOURCES AND CONTROL METHODS
The following operations may involve zinc chloride fume and lead to worker exposures to this substance:
1. ACGIH . Industrial ventilation--a manual of recommended practice. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
2. Burton DJ . Industrial ventilation--a self study companion. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
3. Alden JL, Kane JM . Design of industrial ventilation systems. New York, NY: Industrial Press, Inc.
4. Wadden RA, Scheff PA . Engineering design for control of workplace hazards. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
5. Plog BA . Fundamentals of industrial hygiene. Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.
* Medical Screening
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 zinc chloride fume, 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 eyes, 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.* Periodic medical examination 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 zinc chloride fume exposure. The interviews, examinations, and medical screening tests should focus on identifying the adverse effects of zinc chloride fume on the eyes, skin, or respiratory tract. Current health status should be compared with the baseline health status of the individual worker or with expected values for a suitable reference population.* 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.WORKPLACE MONITORING AND MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES
Determination of a worker's exposure to airborne zinc chloride fume is made using a mixed cellulose ester filter (0.8 micron). Samples are collected at a maximum flow rate of 2 liters per minute (TWA or STEL) until a maximum air volume of 960 liters (TWA) or 30 liters (STEL) is collected. The sample is then treated with deionized water to extract the zinc chloride fume. Analysis is conducted by atomic absorption spectroscopy. This method has a sampling and analytical error of 0.11 and is included in the OSHA Computerized Information System [OSHA 1987] and in Method 7030 of the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, 3rd edition, Volume 2 [NIOSH 1984].
PERSONAL HYGIENE PROCEDURES
If zinc chloride fume contacts the skin, workers should flush the affected areas immediately with plenty of water for 15 minutes, followed by washing with soap and water [Genium MSDS 1986, No. 197].
Clothing contaminated with zinc chloride fume 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 zinc chloride fume, particularly its potential to be irritating to the skin and eyes.
Workers should not eat, drink, or use tobacco products in areas where zinc chloride fume is present [New Jersey Fact Sheet 1986, p. 3].
In the event of a release involving zinc chloride fume, 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 release:
1. Notify safety personnel.
2. Use a vacuum or a wet method to clean up fume.
EMERGENCY PLANNING, COMMUNITY RIGHT-TO-KNOW, AND HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS
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. EPA has no requirements that apply specifically to the fume of zinc chloride; the information below applies to zinc chloride in solid form or in solution.
* Emergency planning requirements
Zinc chloride is not subject to EPA emergency planning requirements under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (Title III).* Reportable quantity requirements (releases of hazardous substances)
A hazardous substance release is defined by EPA as any spilling, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of containers) of hazardous substances. In the event of a release that is above the reportable quantity for that chemical, employers are required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to notify the proper Federal authorities.* 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 zinc chloride 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 zinc chloride 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.RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
* 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 zinc chloride fume 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].PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Protective clothing should be worn to prevent skin contact with zinc chloride fume. Safety glasses, goggles, or faceshields should be worn during operations in which zinc chloride fume might contact the eyes. Eyewash fountains and emergency showers should be available within the immediate work area whenever the potential exists for eye or skin contact with zinc chloride fume. Contact lenses should not be worn if the potential exists for zinc chloride fume exposure.
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