Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-102-L2075, Ebtec East, Agawam, Massachusetts.
In response to a request from management, an evaluation was undertaken at the Ebtec East Corporation, Agawam, Massachusetts of possible hazardous working conditions caused by emission products produced during the cutting of a Kevlar composite material with a carbon-dioxide laser. The environmental data collected during the study indicated the presence of low levels of several volatile organic compounds including aliphatic, aromatic, and chlorinated hydrocarbons, alcohols, and aldehydes in air samples taken both inside and outside the laser booth. These levels were low enough not to be considered a hazard to workers. Gases such as carbon- monoxide (630080) (30 to 35 parts per million) and nitrogen oxides were detected inside the booth during cutting operations. The authors recommend using eye protection designated or labeled as protective for the particular laser being used, the placement of warning signs, building a more permanent enclosure for the laser operation, improving the ventilation system, the possible use of respiratory protective equipment, periodic monitoring for carbon- monoxide and oxides of nitrogen levels, and the obtaining of Material Safety Data Sheets for materials used.