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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-060-1367, Leather Craftsman, Lynbrook, New York.

Baker D; Fannick N
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 81-060-1367, 1983 Sep; :1-14
In response to a request from the management of Leather Craftsman (SIC-2648), a manufacturer of custom photographic albums, located in Lynbrook, New York, an evaluation was made of possible excessive exposures to Varnoline, an industrial solvent. Workers at the facility were concerned because they thought they were working with benzene, and had refused to use the solvent. A chemical analysis indicated that 90 percent of the solvent was a complex mixture of aliphatic hydrocarbons, and that it contained toluene (108883) and xylene (1330207), but no benzene. Workers who were particularly exposed to the solvent through inhalation and direct skin contact were those involved in cleaning the excess glue from photographs being placed in the albums. Respiratory exposure as determined through samples taken for airborne concentrations in the breathing zones of cleaners and mounters was quite low. Urine studies indicated that cleaners and possibly sprayers were exposed to solvents containing toluene and xylene, but that the levels were lower than the NIOSH recommended limits. Dermatitis of the hands along with peeling and drying of the fingers likely arose due to skin contact with the solvent soaked cloth. The authors conclude that although airborne concentrations of the solvents were low, some workers may have been exposed to toluene and xylene through handling solvent soaked cloths. The authors recommend that workers wear a rubber or polyvinylchloride glove on the hand holding the cloth. Protective barrier lotions and ointments may be helpful. Protective aprons, gloves, glasses and solvent absorbing cartridge respirator should be used when operating the lacquer spraying system in the spray booth.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-81-060-1367; Region-2; Hazard-Confirmed; Organic-solvents; Vapors; Inhalants; Air-contamination; Protective-clothing; Personal-protective-equipment; Skin-exposure; Author Keywords: Stationery, Tablets and Related Products; solvent; aliphatic hydrocarbons; octanes; toluene; xylene; prenarcotic; symptoms; dermatitis
108-88-3; 1330-20-7
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division