From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Emergency Shower and Eyewash Temperatures
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2018 18:20:22 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Is these plumbed straight into a hot water line or a tempering valve (thermostatic mixing unit)?
Most state and local governments have adopted the 2003 or later International Plumbing Code (IPC) which requires the use of "tepid" (moderately lukewarm) water in emergency showers and eyewash stations. See page 4 of this chart for the list of 35 states where it has been adopted at the state/local level: https://www.iccsafe.org/wp-content/uploads/Code_Adoption_Maps.pdf
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z358.1-2014 at (Section 6.4.6; B6) states that water delivered by emergency equipment be "tepid" which is defined as between 60 =B0F (16 =B0C) and 100 =B0F (38 =B0C) except when this would accelerate an adverse chemical reaction. ANSI is an internationally respected body that fosters "best practices" standards in a variety of areas. Thus, even if your state/local government does not require tepid water, your insurance carrier or attorney may require or advise you to follow the ANSI recommendation. Further, as Z358.1 is incorporated by reference into the International Plumbing Code (IPC) this means that tempering valves are basically required under most state and local plumbing codes.
Tepid water delivery is achieved with a tempering unit (also called a thermostatic mixing valve or blending valve) that automatically mixes hot and cold water supplies to deliver water in the recommended temperature range. You can find examples of these on our company's web site at http://www.safetyemporium.com/showers/tempering-valves/
Plumbing into cold water only in regions where the temperature can reach freezing is bad in a different way. Victims run the potential of hypothermia trying to stay in extremely cold water for 15 minutes, and are likely to cut their treatment short because of the frigid temperature. Of course, hot only is worse, as the hot water supplies outside residential environments are likely scalding.
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012
--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas This may seem like a basic question, but I am getting some pushback from our plumbing contractors on this. We have a brand new facility and I went through to test all of the eyewash and emergency shower stations. At first everything seemed to be working fine, but then I noticed that the emergency eyewash water was getting warmer. I was horrified when the eyewash water became hot. I have never encountered hot eyewash water before. I had the contractors re-plumb the eyewash stations into cold tap water only. Now they are pushing back, wanting to hook the eyewash stations back into the hot water. I also noticed that our emergency shower is releasing hot water. Are there any regulations surrounding eyewash and emergency shower temperatures? My understanding has always been to have cold, potable tap water running into emergency showers and eyewashes so that chemical reactions are not accelerated upon exposure to heat. Regardless, with the temperatures that our eyewash stations were reaching, there was no way that anyone could keep their eyeballs open for 10 minutes in this water. Any information is appreciated, especially information that will put this debate to rest.
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