We beat this already dead horse to much more to death more times than
;a factor of 10 to the 3rd power on the ANSI/ISEA Z-358.1-2009 American N
ational Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment r
evision committee for about 2 years. I personally took it upon myse
lf to investigate the issue, and the results are all over the place as to
a temperature range. We did make the best compromise we could for
a consensus ("consensus = nobody totally agrees with it but all can at le
ast stand it and anyway are tired of arguing about it, can't settle it an
y further with data, and want to get on to the next issues").
What we did agree on in the revision committee was that we very much wanted
to avoid recommending water temperatures that would likely cause hypotherm
ia and we also very much wanted to avoid temperatures that could cause scal
That said, the definition of "tepid" is rather like the definition of "ar
t". I know the first when I feel it on my skin or in my eyes and I
know the second when it appeals to my aesthetic sensibilities.
Probably the best weasel-word definitition is "water that is neither too co
ld nor too hot."
Too cold, chemically exposed persons won't stay in the shower long
enough. Too hot, they'll jump right back out. In either
case, an effective water decontamination will not occur and the risk of i
njury (or even death with certain chemicals such as concentrated HF) is inc
reased. Too cold may be easier with eyewashes because to a certain
extent cold water is soothing to the chemically-injured conjunctiva
and cornea. With eye or eye-and-face only exposure, hypothermia i
s less of a risk. With whole-body showers, however, this become
s more of an issue, especially in cold environments.
Personally, I'd prefer a slightly more collapsed range of acceptable temp
eratures, but if you are trying to comply with the Standard, then the 6
0-100 degree F range is what's there.
I'm sure we will revisit this issue for the next revision committee go-arou
nd in the future, so any input D-CHAS members have on the issue would be
appreciated and will be passed along for consideration.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Member, ANSI/ISEA Z-358.1-2009 revision committee
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:53:22 -0500
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Definition of "tepid"
60 F may be too cold
and hypothermia could still be a concern for extended washing. However,
100F is just above body temp, it should be pretty good for an eyewash.
Brady P. Arnold
Engineer III / Safety Officer
nbsp; (913) 227-7199
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS
-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of Debbie M. Decker
ay, August 16, 2011 10:26 AM
ubject: [DCHAS-L] Definition of "tepid"
I know we=92ve beaten this one to death already but I wasn=92t paying atte
ntion and now I need the collective brain. I found ANSI says that
=93tepid=94 is between 60 and 100F. But I seem to recall other advi
ce that suggests this is too wide of a range - 60F is uncomfortably cold
and 100F is far too hot for an eyewash.
What do you guys think?
Debbie M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616
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