Worker exposure to epichlorohydrin (106898) was investigated at the Shell Chemical Company's Deer Park Manufacturing Complex (SIC-2821) in Houston, Texas, from August 8 to 12, 1976. The factory employed 60 to 150 workers, and had an industrial hygiene program. Air samples were collected at 18 job stations in the epoxy, glycerine, and other departments to evaluate time weighted average exposures. Allyl-chloride (107051), methyl-isobutyl-ketone (108101) (MIBK), methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), and acetone (67641) exposures were investigated. The highest exposures to epichlorohydrin, allyl- chloride, MIBK, MEK, and acetone were 2.1, 13.9, 20.2, 2.1, and 4.5 parts per million (ppm), respectively. Only allyl-chloride concentrations were above the OSHA standards. The author notes that a change to a standard of 0.5ppm 15 minute ceiling for epichlorohydrin would necessitate additional environmental monitoring at several work positions. The author concludes that workers were not exposed to the other test substances at concentrations above OSHA standards, and recommends that solvent cleaners be used cautiously to prevent fires and explosions.
NIOSH, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare