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Worker exposure to organic vapors at a liquid chemical waste incinerator.
Decker DW; Clark CS; Elia VJ; Kominsky JR; Trapp JH
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1983 Apr; 44(4):296-300
Worker exposure to organic vapors at a liquid chemical waste incinerator was investigated. In the preliminary study, benzene (71432), methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), toluene (108883), and xylene (1330207) were selected as the screening compounds to be measured. General area and personal breathing zone samples were collected on charcoal tubes, desorbed, and analyzed by gas chromatography. Air measurements were also made using a direct reading photoionization analyzer. General area samples collected upwind and downwind from the incinerator facility were less than hour time weighted average (TWA) exposures, the incinerator workers were exposed to no detectable concentrations of benzene and MEK and less than 0.2ppm of toluene and xylene. The lab technicians were exposed to 0.8ppm benzene and MEK and less than 0.1ppm toluene and xylene. The TWA for the waste receiver was 0.45ppm benzene, 0.02ppm MEK and toluene, and no detectable amount of xylene. Using the direct reading hydrocarbon analyzer in the pump building during the unloading process, the estimated combined concentration of the four compounds was 100ppm. The highest exposure occurred while cleaning pump strainers after receiving wastes and during benzene distillation in the lab. The authors conclude that worker exposure to benzene, MEK, toluene, and xylene at the liquid industrial waste incinerator is well below health standards, except for benzene.
NIOSH-Author; Biological-effects; Exposure-levels; Toxic-effects; Industrial-hygiene; Breathing-atmospheres; Chemical-properties; Chromatographic-analysis; Biological-factors
71-43-2; 78-93-3; 108-88-3; 1330-20-7
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: December 28, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division