Worker exposures to formaldehyde (50000), furfuryl-alcohol (98000), and ammonia (7664417) were determined, and noise and temperature readings were taken at RAPCO Foam, Incorporated (SIC-2865) in Florence, South Carolina, from August 28 to 30 and September 25 to 27, 1979. The survey was part of a NIOSH industry-wide study of the thermal insulation manufacturing and application industry. About seven of the employees at the facility were assigned to the formaldehyde foam manufacturing area. The facility had no formal safety and industrial hygiene program. Medical services were provided by a local hospital and workers trained in first aid. Personal air samples for formaldehyde ranged from 0.18 to 10 parts per million (ppm) time weighted average. Furfuryl-alcohol concentrations were below detection limits. The ammonia concentration measured when removing the pump stem from the ammonia drum was 300ppm. All other personal ammonia samples were below NIOSH and OSHA limits. Noise exposure measurements indicated that the cook, drum washers, and foaming agent blender were potentially exposed to noise levels in excess of the NIOSH limit. Limited wet bulb globe temperature readings taken in the reactor and drum filling areas were near the NIOSH recommended limit of 26.1 degrees C. The authors recommend engineering controls to reduce ammonia exposure, engineering or administrative controls to reduce noise exposure, audiometric monitoring for workers exposed to excessive noise levels, and the establishment of a summer and winter heat stress profile.
Environmental Control, Inc., NIOSH Contract No. 210-78-0081, 34 pages, 23 references