Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 72-10263, 1972 Jan; :1-8
This pamphlet provided information on the occupational safety aspects of work with solvents. Topics included uses of solvents, definition, health problems associated with use, exposure control, management responsibilities, and workers' responsibilities. Solvents have been used widely in industry as cleaning agents, thinners, degreasers, chemical reagents, and drying agents. Chemically the solvents could be classified into several groups such as aliphatic, aromatic, and halogenated hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, esters, and ethers. All organic solvents affected the central nervous system and the skin. The major routes of exposure involved absorption through the skin or the inhalation of solvent vapors. Exposure could damage the blood, lungs, liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal system. Methods used to control exposure included ventilation systems, local exhaust ventilation, respirators, and protective clothing. Good personal hygiene may be important in preventing accidental exposures. The responsibility of management lay in the education of the workers as to the hazards involved, to enforce the use of protective safety devices and protective clothing, and investigate any erratic behavior on the part of any employee which might indicate exposure to solvents. Employees must avoid skin contact, use available protective devices, avoid dangerous practices, report and clean up any spills immediately, report all ill effects and skin disorders, and develop good personal hygiene habits.