by Caroline Miller, CIH, CSP
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profile documents on July 28, 2020. The IDLH Value Profile documents are based on the Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) 66 – Derivation of Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Values, published in 2013. NIOSH intends to re-evaluate all IDLH values in accordance with CIB 66.
The three affected chemicals, the IDLH values, and the basis for the values are as follows:
- Bromine Trifluoride (CAS® 7787-71-5): 12 ppm (67 mg/m3). Data from studies with chlorine trifluoride (ClF3) were used to develop an IDLH value for BrF3 since their chemical structures, reaction mechanisms, and potencies are similar. The IDLH value for ClF3 is based on eye irritation in rats at a concentration of 480 ppm exposed for 5 minutes, which was determined to be escape impairing.
- Chlorine Trifluoride (CAS® 7790-91-2): 12 ppm (45 mg/m3). The IDLH value for chlorine trifluoride (CIF3) is based on data on eye irritation in rats exposed at a concentration of 480 ppm for 5 minutes, which was determined to be escape-impairing.
- Ethylene Dibromide (CAS® 106-93-4): 46 ppm (354 mg/m3). The IDLH value for ethylene dibromide is based on a 36-minute no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for lethality value of 400 ppm in rats.
Recommended Action Items:
- Review your inventory of substances to determine if your company uses any of the affected chemicals
- Review your standard operating procedures and workplace practices to ensure that employees can escape should an IDLH atmosphere develop
Federal Register Notice: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-07-28/pdf/2020-16254.pdf
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profile: Bromine Trifluoride (CAS® No. 7787-71-5): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2020-123/default.html
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profile: Chlorine Trifluoride (CAS® No. 7790-91-2): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2020-124/default.html
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Value Profile: Ethylene Dibromide (CAS® No. 106-93-4): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2020-125/default.html
NIOSH, IDLH, Chemical hazards, Chemical exposure
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