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Automatic monitoring systems for determining time weighted average workplace levels: process gas chromatographs.

Soble M
Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-107, 1981 Jan; :107-114
Control technology used by the Hooker Chemical Corporation for vinyl- chloride (75014) monomer (VCM) monitoring was described. Initial monitoring was due to the OSHA vinyl-chloride regulation of 1974. The Bendix gas chromatography system was used to monitor a polyvinyl- chloride (9002862) (PVC) resin facility. Six individual units monitored ten points each every 1.5 minutes. The system was incorporated into the facility control room, reaction areas, exhaust points, and outside to monitor unloading of VCM railcars and stacks. The control room operator was able to assess each of the 60 points at any time and to determine where a leak occurred and the severity of the problem. The data acquisition system was a Hewlett Packard computer. The importance of using trained technicians for system maintenance and to assure proper calibration was stressed. An emergency light in the reaction area would turn on if the area VCM concentration exceeded 5 parts per million (ppm). Employees were trained to recognize the significance of the light and to react appropriately. The 60 points were monitored continuously and high level, low level, average, mean, and high points recorded daily. VCM levels in the facility averaged 1 to 2ppm in 1974 and less than 1ppm after system implementation. The system was in use in auxiliary plants. The author concludes that gas chromatography provides a viable way to detect ppm concentrations of VCM for employee protection.
Occupational-health-programs; Industrial-safety-programs; Regulations; Worker-health; Workplace-studies; Industrial-hazards; Safety-monitoring; Sampling-equipment; Occupational-exposure; Gas-chromatography
75-01-4; 9002-86-2
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Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry
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Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division