Peracetic Acid Uses, Health Risks & Workplace Guidelines

During a recent milking -time test I found it very uncomfortable to be in the milking area when the cluster flush was initiated.

Peracetic or peroxyacetic acid (PAA) is a strong oxidizing agent used for high level disinfection and sterilization at low temperatures. It is water soluble, and leaves no solid residue after rinsing and the end products are only water, oxygen and acetic acid (vinegar), making PAA a very environmentally friendly compound.

As an antimicrobial agent, PAA is broadly effective against a wide range of microorganisms

The properties of PAA that make it an efficient sterilant and environmentally friendly make it potentially dangerous to any employees exposed to it in the workplace. Unfortunately the health risks to workers from PAA exposure are not known by many employers. PAA in concentrations can be harmful to workers if they are exposed.

PAA is very irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, with the potential for causing permanent scarring of the skin, cornea, and throat. Higher exposures in the short term can also cause pulmonary edema as well as liver and kidney effects.

0.17 ppm: the level above which discomfort could be observed for an exposure of up to 8 hours per day.

No occupational exposure limits have been established for Peracetic Acid.
This does not mean that this substance is not harmful. Safe work practices should always be followed.

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