The control of hazardous cleaning solvent vapors in the printing industry was reviewed. Printing press operators were exposed to airborne solvent vapors during press cleaning. The symptoms of exposure included dermatitis, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, coughing, difficulty breathing, and chest pains. These signaled such adverse health effects as kidney and liver damage, respiratory failure, central nervous system depression, unconsciousness, and death. Exposure to solvent vapors was often intensified in small print shops due to insufficient ventilation and poor or missing vapor control measures. One basic control measure consisted of using only those press cleaning solutions that did not contain methylene-chloride (75092), benzene (71432), perchloroethylene (127184), or other potential carcinogens. By removing hazardous vapors at the source, local exhaust ventilation (LEV) at each press machine served as another effective control measure for small print shops. Vapors exhausted outside were replaced by fresh, tempered, humidified makeup air. Modified work practices, such as storing cleaning wipers in a closed container and keeping cleaning solvent containers in a separate, well ventilated room, were also useful for controlling exposures to solvent vapors. The use of appropriate chemical protective gloves was also recommended for printer operators handling press cleaning solutions.
Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Ventilation; Ventilation-equipment; Ventilation-hoods; Ventilation-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Personal-protective-equipment; Skin-exposure; Skin; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Printing-industry; Printing-presses; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Control-methods; Health-hazards; Protective-clothing; Work-practices; Central-nervous-system; Central-nervous-system-disorders; Liver-disorders; Liver-damage; Kidney-disorders; Kidney-damage; Skin-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders