Huntington Beach, CA, November 21st, 2018
Earlier this year, The Fresno Bee published a report about the alarming number of calls the Fresno-Madera Poison Control Center received about hydrogen peroxide poisoning. The center’s medical director was interviewed and he suggested the spike in calls was due to people finding sites online that claim various medical benefits for its use via ingestion that are just not safe and could lead to death in some cases.
These alarming, poisoning calls due to the improper use of hydrogen peroxide highlighted in the article are not the only exposure concerns faced by some people. Workers in a number of industries use hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations to bleach textiles and paper, as a component of rocket fuels, and for producing foam rubber and organic chemicals.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), hydrogen peroxide can be toxic if ingested, inhaled or due to contact with the skin or eyes. Eye exposure to 3% hydrogen peroxide may result in pain and irritation, but severe injury is rare. More concentrated solution may result in ulceration or perforation of the cornea. Skin contact can cause irritation and temporary bleaching of the skin and hair, while contact with concentrated solutions may cause severe skin burns. Inhalation of household strength hydrogen peroxide (3%) can cause respiratory irritation, but inhalation of vapors from concentrated (higher than 10%) solutions may result in severe pulmonary irritation. Ingestion of dilute solutions may result in vomiting, mild gastrointestinal irritation, gastric distension, and on rare occasions, gastrointestinal erosions or embolism. Ingestion of solutions of 10-20% strength produces similar symptoms, but exposed tissues may also be burned. Ingestion of even more concentrated solutions may induce rapid loss of consciousness followed by respiratory paralysis.
“In California and throughout the U.S. there are regulations to limit worker exposure to hydrogen peroxide that are meant to protect people’s health and safety,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “To help companies comply with these regulations and to avoid noncompliance penalties, LA Testing offers industrial hygiene and environmental testing services for hydrogen peroxide and other chemical compounds, all of the sampling supplies needed, and offers a complete line of personal protective equipment.”
LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about hydrogen peroxide and exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/OtLrWjPcceA.
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, 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 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.