Huntington Beach, CA, July 5, 2023
Methyl alcohol, also known as methanol, is described by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a colorless liquid with a strong odor. It is used in many industries, for example, methyl alcohol is used in solvents, deicers, and in the manufacturing of plastics, polyesters and numerous other chemicals.
Methyl alcohol is a poisonous substance that can be absorbed through the eyes, skin, lungs and digestive system. Overexposure can cause death. As such, workers in industries that use methyl alcohol may be harmed by exposure with the level of harm depending upon the dose, duration and work being done.
A physical danger of methyl alcohol shared by NIOSH includes its vapors may be heavier than air. This means it can spread along the ground and collect in poorly-ventilated, low-lying or confined areas allowing for hazardous concentrations to develop quickly.
Examples of some of the workers at risk of being exposed to methyl alcohol listed by NIOSH include:
- Factory workers in plants that manufacture plastics
- Transportation workers exposed to the deicing of vehicles
- Workers in alternative fuel industries
- Workers exposed to certain solvents or cleaning agents
“In 2012, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) listed methanol on the state’s Prop 65 list as known to cause reproductive toxicity,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “To protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for it and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL). Cal/OSHA also has its own PEL.”
To help industries that utilize methyl alcohol and other chemicals, the industrial hygiene and environmental scientists at LA Testing offer laboratory testing services, sampling supplies and personal protective equipment to assess and mitigate exposure risks. These resources protect workers and help companies comply with health and safety regulations.
LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about methyl alcohol and potential occupational exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/CEigVx218Sg
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for environmental, industrial hygiene and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.