We have some experience with this stuff. It's been used at the Vale (formerly Inco) nickel smelter in Sudbury Ontario to make ultra-high purity nickel. It exists only as an intermediate in a closed system; the material is both created and destroyed within the system. There are all kinds of safety features and PPE. Nevertheless, a worker died from it a decade or so ago. My department wasn't part of the investigation; it was handled by our Canadian counterparts. But as I recall, the exact source of the leak was never determined. They just went through and replaced and tightened everything.
Several years ago we were asked to support a proposal to use a nickel carbonyl process to decontaminate low-level radioactive nickel from the gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plants, whose workers we represent. It would have worked, except at great risk to the workers in the project. As is so often the case, the engineers hadn't thought much about safety. We strenuously objected, and the proposal died, partly because the economics were prohibitive once safety was considered.
All this by way of saying that the regulations are a side issue. Your client needs a very comprehensive and very expert safety analysis by a disinterested party, critiqued by another disinterested party. Design a system based on that analysis, and the regulations will take care of themselves.
Michael J. Wright
Director of Health, Safety and Environment
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU]
On Behalf Of Michael T. Kleinman
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2020 5:38 PM
Subject: EXTERNAL EMAIL: Re: [DCHAS-L] Nickel Carbonyl
Interesting question. For occupational exposures the ACGIH recommends a ceiling level (not to be exceeded at any time in an 8-hr work period) of 50 ppb.
"Under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (P.L. 92-463) of 1972, the National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances has been established to identify, review, and interpret relevant toxicologic and other scientific data and develop acute exposure guideline levels (AEGLs) for high-priority, acutely toxic chemicals.
AEGLs represent threshold exposure limits for the general public and are applicable to emergency exposure periods ranging from 10 minutes (min) to 8 hours (h). AEGL-2 and AEGL-3 levels, and AEGL-1 levels as appropriate, will be developed for each of five exposure periods (10 min, 30 min, 1 h, 4 h, and 8 h) and will be distinguished by varying degrees of severity of toxic effects. It is believed that the recommended exposure levels are applicable to the general population, including infants and children and other individuals who may be sensitive and susceptible. The three AEGLs have been defined as follows:
AEGL-1 is the airborne concentration (expressed as parts per million [ppm] or milligrams per cubic meter [mg/m3]) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience notable discomfort, irritation, or certain asymptomatic nonsensory effects. However, the effects are not disabling and are transient and reversible upon cessation of exposure.
AEGL-2 is the airborne concentration (expressed as ppm or mg/m3) of a substance above which it is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, could experience irreversible or other serious, long-lasting adverse health effects, or an impaired ability to escape."
There is no AEGL-1
The AEGL-2 is 4.5 ppb
The CAL OSHA PEL is 1 ppb.
The OEHHA chronic reference exposure level (REL) is 2 ppb, but that is for nickel and compounds.
Department of Medicine
Division of Occupational and Environmental Health
100 Theory STE 100
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-1830
On Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 1:33 PM davivid <davivid**At_Symbol_Here**well.com> wrote:
I have a client in California who is considering using a process that
uses nickel carbonyl. I have made them aware of the extremely toxic
nature of this compound. The only reason they are considering it is that
it solves a problem that would be very difficult to achieve any other
way. My question to the community is this: what, if any, specific
regulations are there regarding the use of this compound?
Clavis Technology Development
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