Air Monitoring Applications - Petrochemical

Inorganic Acids

Petrochemical Applications main pageHydrochloric acid is released by oil refineries in the gaseous form, is highly corrosive, can have damaging effects on the skin, eyes, kidneys, intestines and other internal organs. It also acts as a musculoskeletal toxicant whereas it could damage the lungs and bones and muscles.

Sulfuric acid is a by-product of sulfur removal from the petroleum. Sulfuric acid has many applications other than in oil refining but also ore processing, fertilizer manufacturing, wastewater processing and chemical synthesis. Emissions from the manufacture of sulfuric acid have resulted in EPA actions for violation of the Clean Air Act. In addition to environmental concerns, the industry workers exposed to Sulfuric Acid are at risk for cumulative damage to the lungs, respiratory system, eyes, skin and teeth.

Exposure Limits
Exposure Limit
Hydrochloric Acid
OSHA (PEL) 5 ppm (7 mg/m³) Ceiling
ACGIH (TLV) 5 ppm (7.5 mg/m³) Ceiling; limit is based on the risk of acute irritation [ACGIH 1991, p. 773]
NIOSH (REL) 5 ppm (7 mg/m³) Ceiling: limit is based on the risk of eye, mucous membrane, and skin irritation [NIOSH 1992]
Sulfuric Acid
NIOSH (IDHL) for General Industry: 1.0 mg/m³
for Construction Industry: 1.0 mg/m³
for OSHA (PEL) Maritime: 1.0 mg/m³
ACGIH (TLV) 1.0 mg/m³ TWA – Thoracic Fraction
NIOSH (REL) 1.0 mg/m³
(TWA=Time-weighted average; TLV=Threshold Limit Value; PEL=Personal Exposure Limit, REL=Recommended Exposure Limit; IDHL=Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health concentration)

EPA Air Toxics Website – Hydrochloric Acid
ATSDR ToxFAQs™ Sulfuric Acid (PDF)

Air Sampling Media by Regulatory Method
Method Contaminants of Interest Sampling Media
OSHA ID 110 Fluorides (F and HF) Filter – Mixed Cellulose Ester (MCE), GN-4 Metricel, 37 mm (23381)
Passive Sampling – Radiello HF/NO2/SO2 (RAD166)
OSHA ID 111 Phosphoric Acid Filter – Mixed Cellulose Ester (MCE), GN-4 Metricel, 37 mm (23381)
OSHA ID 113 Sulfuric Acid Filter – Mixed Cellulose Ester (MCE), GN-4 Metricel, 37 mm (23381)
OSHA 165SG Acid Gases and Mists Sorbent Tube – Silica Gel w/GFF ORBO-53 (20265)
NIOSH 7903 Inorganic Acids Sorbent Tube – Silica GFF; ORBO-53 (20265)

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