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printech, October, 2002
Re: Monitoring for Ferric Chloride


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From: Gary Jones (gjonesprinting@aol.com )
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 15:36:23


I finally had a chance to correspond with an Industrial Hygienist who has experience in printing and this is his response:

They are probably smelling a mix of hydrochloric acid, chlorine, and some reaction products from the etching. The concentration of these materials are all most likely below the detection limit of draeger tubes.

Your questioner forgot to mention exactly which Draeger tube they used and how many pump strokes they did. If I new that, I could tell them the concentration of the HCL & CL2.

This is a corrosive material and etching is a chemical reaction (decomposition/byproducts/wastes are generated). This material has an acrid odor; there's no getting around it. It considered a contact hazard more than an inhalation hazard.

It can be controlled with local exhaust ventilation or dilution ventilation (fans & fresh air).

There are no NIOSH methods for ferric chloride as they are for general soluble iron salts; nothing specific to ferric chloride. Being a salt there has to be a force present to put the salt into the air (misting, splashing, blowing, etc.).

A solution sitting on my desk will not generate any FeCl3 into the air; only a little HCl and Cl2.

If there is no aerosolizing or misting force present; there is no ferric chloride in the air.



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