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In-depth survey report: control of methylene chloride during furniture stripping at Tri-County Furniture Stripping, Cincinnati, Ohio, report no. CT-170-13c.

Estill-CF; Watkins-DS; Shulman-SA; Kurimo-RW; Kovein-RJ
NIOSH 2000 Apr; :1-35
NIOSH has been conducting research on ventilation controls to reduce furniture stripping exposures to methylene chloride. The goal of this study was to reduce furniture stripping exposures to methylene chloride. The goal of this study was to reduce exposures to methylene chloride below the current OSHA PEL of 25 ppm at Tri-County Furniture Stripping in Cincinnati, Ohio. Five surveys were completed at this facility. The second survey showed the highest exposures with a geometric mean a 334 ppm. Since the second survey, the ventilation system at the stripping tank was upgraded and cleaned for a final exhaust volume of 2720 cfm. Since the third survey, a local exhaust ventilation system for the rinsing area was installed with a total exhaust volume of 2140. Additional controls instituted during the fifth and final survey included upgrading the stripping ventilation, adding paraffin wax to the stripping solution, and discussing good work practices with the employee. The methylene chloride concentrations during the fifth survey were reduced to a geometric mean of 9 ppm with a 95% upper confidence limit of 13 ppm. This final survey showed that the methylene chloride levels have been reduced to below the new OSHA PEL of 25 ppm. The important engineering and administrative controls that led to reducing exposures were the following: Increasing the stripping tank local exhaust ventilation to 2700 cfm, increasing the rinsing area local exhaust ventilation to 21000cfm, opening all doors to the facility to allow for plentiful make-up air, adding paraffin wax to the stripping solution and bringing up the level of the solution in the stripping tank, and training the employee in good work practices. The cost of the ventilation system and the make-up system is projected to be $15,720, with a yearly operating cost of $1000. For the facility in this study, an additional $5200 would need to be spent to upgrade their gas line for installation of the make-up air unit.
Region-5; Furniture-stripping; Respirators; Vapor-exposure; Exhaust-ventilation;
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
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Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Cancer; Cardiovascular Disease; Control Technology & Personal Protective Equipment; Reproductive-system-disorders
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health