Nothing is "Safe" if the concentration is high enough.
EHS & Radiation Safety Officer
Two big issues here:
1, Clearly, the public is not prepared to protect against this material with respirators.
2. The 55 ppb standard is for healthy adult workers. There is no way to know how lower levels may affect asthmatics, the fetus, children, and other high risk populations.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062
WHAT'S THAT SMELL?
Tags: us_FL, public, release, response, other_chemical
"We have a new chemical that many of the farms are using in larger quantity for the first time called Paladin," said Florida Strawberry Growers Executive Director Ted Campbell.
Paladin is used to fumigate the soil before any berries are planted, killing anything that would put the crop in jeopardy.
"It's organic, safe, used as a food additive, all the good stuff is there. But it has the smell of onion, garlic what you smell with propane or natural gas," said Campbell.
Organic. OK. It's an organic chemical.
"Safe". Which must be why the Arkema Safe Handling Guide (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/handler/paladin-fsh-guide.pdf ) reads in part:
Always handle this product in the open, with all handlers positioned "upwind" from the container and/or where there is adequate ventilation….
The strong odor of DMDS can be detected at levels below the levels leading to nasal irritation and other symptoms. If any handler within an application block detects the garlic-like odor of this product, then a half face or full-face air-purifying respirator must be worn. Any handlers not wearing respirators must cease operations and leave the application block and surrounding buffer zone.
Handlers wearing respirators can remove them or handlers not wearing respirators can resume operations if two consecutive samples taken at least 15 minutes apart show that the levels of DMDS do not exceed 55 ppb. If sampling is not done, after one hour and at hourly intervals afterwards,
handlers can remove their air-purifying respirators momentarily to determine if the garlic-like odor is still detectable. If detectable, the respirators must be put back on. Any handler using a respirator must be fit-tested and fit-checked, trained, and medically qualified to use a respirator.
OK, so like most highly odiferous compounds, you can smell it at levels that aren't going to do you harm and there's probably minimal public health threat given the dilution, but you have to chuckle at the characterization "safe" especially when used without any apparent air level monitoring to determine the actual concentration.
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