Bulletin No:          235                                         Volume:  19                       Friday 4 October 2013





Members are advised that the UFU has become aware of potential health and safety concerns regarding the use of CFA facemask disinfectant BIOGARD. The concern predominantly relates to its use at the dilution at which the product is brought onto station (1:3), as opposed to once it has been further diluted at stations for use.

The concerns are predominantly around potential health effects of the product at higher concentrations.

The UFU has notified the CFA and CFA health and safety representatives of these concerns. The UFU is seeking an urgent response from the CFA and all CFA documentation in relation to this chemical and it’s use, including expert reports and risk assessments.

In the interim, members are advised to exercise caution when handling this product including the use of protective equipment when handling the chemical in it’s 1:3 dilution (as delivered to stations).

Whilst the UFU has sought clarification from the CFA in relation to this matter, the following handling procedures as extracted from the most recent BIOGARD MSDS (also see attached) taken from the company’s web site are recommended as a precaution whilst this matter is being resolved:

        Put on appropriate personal protective equipment (see Section 8 [below]). Eating, drinking and smoking should be prohibited in areas where this material is handled, stored and processed. Workers should wash hands and face before eating, drinking and smoking.

        Remove contaminated clothing and protective equipment before entering eating areas. Do not get in eyes or on skin or clothing. Do not breathe vapour or mist. Do not ingest. Avoid release to the environment. Refer to special instructions/safety data sheet. If during normal use the material presents a respiratory hazard, use only with adequate ventilation or wear appropriate         respirator. Keep in the original container or an approved alternative made from a compatible material, kept tightly closed when not in use. Keep away from acids. Empty containers retain product residue and can be hazardous. Do not reuse container.

        [Section 8 – Personal Protection]

        Eyes: Wear chemical splash goggles. For continued or severe exposure wear a face shield         over the goggles.

        Hands: Use chemical-resistant, impervious gloves.

        Recommended: Elbow length PVC gloves.

        Respiratory: If ventilation is inadequate, use respirator that will protect against organic vapour and dust/ mist. Respiratory protection should conform to AS/NZS 1715 and AS/NZS 1716.

Skin:        Use synthetic apron, other protective equipment as necessary to prevent skin contact.

Hygiene measures: Wash hands, forearms and face thoroughly after handling chemical products, before eating, smoking and using the lavatory and at the end of the working period. Appropriate techniques should be used to remove potentially contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reusing. Ensure that eyewash stations and safety showers are close to the workstation location.

Members are advised that the above measures are recommended as an optimum safety measure and the UFU is advocating for the highest level of protection for members.

We will provide further information to members ASAP.

If members have any concerns or information regarding this matter please contact your Health and Safety Representative, local Shop Steward or the UFU directly.


Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary