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Specialists in Detector Technology & Systems Integration since 1973

Portable Applications Note # 6

Monitoring Methylene Chloride for TWA PEL
______________________________________________________________________ Introduction:
Methylene chloride (MC) is an excellent solvent (for oils, waxes, resins, rubber, etc.) with a high vapor pressure (BP= 39.8C; VP= 350 mm Hg). The Chemical Abstracts service registry # is 75-09-2. It is common in households being used in aerosol cans and paint removers. At one time, it was used to remove caffeine from coffee. MC is used in industry in foam operations as a blowing and cleaning agent, in aerosol cans, for bonding plastics, in the construction and ship building industries, for cleaning printed circuit boards or machine parts, as an extraction agent for pharmaceuticals, and as a paint remover. occupational exposure to MC and increases in bile duct cancer and a type of brain cancer.

Regulation for MC:

The new OSHA regulation (PEL) for MC was published on 1/10/97; Federal Register 29CFR section 1910.1052. See also the OSHA home page on the web: http\\ Click on standards, then 29 CFR and search on methylene chloride.

Monitor workplace for TWA PEL for personnel exposure to MC.

Additional Applications: Permissible Exposure:

According to OSHA standard number 1910.1052, MC exposure may not exceed 25 ppm as an 8 hour TWA (time weighted average) PEL (permissible exposure limit) or 125 ppm averaged over a 15 minute time period (STEL). Stacks, fenceline, and water effluents specifically from ppb to ppm levels

Accuracy of Monitoring Methods:

Methods used to perform exposure monitoring must have an accuracy within +/- 25% (@ 95% confidence level) for MC at levels above the 8 hour TWA PEL or +/- 35% (@ 95% confidence level) at concentrations of MC between the action level and the TWA PEL.

Action Level:
The action level for MC is 12.5 ppm calculated as an 8 hour TWA.

Health Effects:
MC is a problem if inhaled or if it comes in contact with the skin. If the liquid remains on the skin, burns may result. It can also affect the body if swallowed. MC is a suspected carcinogen since it has produced lung and liver tumors in mice. Human epidemiological studies show a correlation between

Monitoring Equipment Available for MC from PID Analyzers, LLC:

HNU has investigated chromatographic methods and detectors for the analysis of MC. We found that the Photoionization detector (PID) was considerably more sensitive (about 7 times) than the electron capture detector (ECD) for MC as shown in the figure at the top of next page.

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Specialists in Detector Technology & Systems Integration since 1973

ECD. The level was at the TLV PEL of 25 ppm. Note that the both detectors produce considerably better results than the OSHA accuracy of +/- 25% but the repeatability of the ECD is poorer as a result of the large oxygen peak in the air. The Model 101 and 102 can be used for leak detection and for detecting the high/low concentrations for collection of charcoal tube samples as specified by OSHA. Thus, the PID is the detector of choice for MC due to the +/- 5% repeatability and the improved detection limits compared to the ECD. Three options for continuous monitoring of MC are shown below: portable GC, and two Automatic GCs for long term monitoring of multiple points.

Chromatograms with PID and ECD

The average reproducibility (std. dev./mean) (100) for 10 consecutive runs over an 8 hour period was 5% for the PID and 19% for the

Monitoring Equipment:
Portable GC for OnSite Measurements of MeCl2
GC312- Portable GC
On-site measurements Packed or capillary columns Photoionization detector Easy to use Peakworks for Windows software with computer control

Automatic GC for Area or Fenceline Monitoring of MeCl2

Remote control of GC Multipoint ( to 8 pt.) 19 Rack, bench or NEMA enclosure Call PID about your specific application

Area or Process Monitor for 10 or 20 point Monitoring of MeCl2

301-C Series- Compact GC Automatic GC with PID

PID Analyzers, LLC, 2 Washington Circle, Sandwich, MA 02563 USA T 1 774 413 5281; F 1 774 413 5298; e Mail See our home page @ - http//