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Chementator: A dosimeter monitors long-term exposure to phosgene

By Chemical Engineering |

Phosgene is widely used for making fine chemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, and polymers such as isocyanates, polyurethanes and polycarbonates. But phosgene is highly toxic, and although gas detectors are required to monitor for dangerous leaks, they cannot determine if workers have been exposed to low (below-threshold) concentrations over long periods of time, says Elisabeth Wasserle, product line manager at MST Technology GmbH (Hohenschäftlarn, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/5827-552). Up to now, paper badges, which change color when exposed to phosgene, have been worn by workers, but such “litmus” tests do not measure cumulative exposures over time as precisely, quickly and explicitly as desired, she says. MST Technology has commercialized an electronic dosimeter, the inno-badge, which measures an individual’s exposure to phosgene, and records the exposure history for up to 90 days. The device uses miniature electrochemical cells, which perform an amperometric analysis of the any phosgene that enters the sensor through a semipermeable membrane. History profiles, including 12-to-72 hour averages of the measured phosgene concentration, can be stored, viewed and analyzed with available software applications.…
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