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7.6 Chemical Exposure Monitoring

As a laboratory worker, you may use a variety of potentially hazardous materials on a daily basis. Safe use of these materials depends heavily on following proper laboratory work practices and the utilization of engineering controls. In certain circumstances, it is necessary to verify that work practices and engineering controls are effective in limiting exposures to hazardous materials. EHS Industrial Hygienists can help evaluate the effectiveness of your controls by monitoring exposures to a variety of laboratory materials. Exposure monitoring is the determination of the airborne concentration of a hazardous material in the work environment. Exposure monitoring data is compared to existing OSHA and ACGIH exposure guidelines and is often used to make recommendations concerning engineering controls, work practices, and PPE.

If you think you are receiving a chemical exposure in excess of OSHA exposure limits, such as feeling symptoms commonly associated with exposure to hazardous materials, or work with any of the chemicals listed below, contact EHS at 607-255-8200 and our Industrial Hygienists can use a variety of sampling methods to monitor for any potential exposures.

In some cases, OSHA substance specific standards actually require that the employer conduct initial exposure monitoring.

Examples of chemicals that fall into this category include:

  • Formaldehyde 
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Methylene chloride
  • Benzene 
  • Ethylene oxide

Other substances that have exposure monitoring requirements include:

  • Lead
  • Cadmium 
  • Silica