HHE Determination, Report No. HHE-78-104-565, Universal Printing Company, St. Louis, Missouri.
The workplace was inspected, employees participated in medical interviews and limited physical examinations and personal air samples were taken to determine exposure concentrations at a facility (No. 2) of the Universal Printing Company (SIC-2751) in St. Louis, Missouri on July 18 to 20, 1978. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography for total naphtha (8030306), toluene (108883), ethyl-benzene (100414), m-xylene (108383), cumene (98828), 1,3,5- trimethyl-benzene (108678), and 1,2,4-trimethyl-benzene (95636). The evaluation was requested by an authorized representative of the Graphic Arts International Union Local No. 505 to determine potential toxicity affecting approximately 30 employees. Forty percent of these employees complained of hand and arm irritation and approximately one third of all employees reported seldom wearing or having impervious gloves available. Two cases of eye irritation were found with two other reports of previous eye irritation. Splash goggles were not available in the shop. Approximately 40 percent complained of occasional dizziness during blanket washing. The investigators conclude that, although employee exposure to airborne contaminants was not found to be toxic at the time of testing, exposure could be potentially toxic if employees worked overtime or did more cleanup or changeover operations than they did at the time of testing. The investigators recommend that ventilation in and around presses be improved, gloves be worn to avoid direct chemical contact, waterless handcleaners be used as much as possible, granular cleansers be used only for exceptionally heavy cleaning, hand cream be available after cleaning up, and proper hygienic procedures be observed after hand contact with colored inks. Use of chemical goggles, availability of water stream eye wash basin and first aid station kit, employee education on hygiene and contamination control, and sealing of chemicals when not in use were also recommended.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 20 pages, 19 references