An on site visit was made to the Converse Shoe Facility (SIC-3021), Lumberton, North Carolina to observe processes involving adhesives in the manufacturing of athletic shoes and to determine the effectiveness of control measures. Two types of shoes were manufactured at this site: canvas upper shoes and leather upper shoes, both in low cuts and high tops. The facility employs about 2000 people on two shifts. The natural rubber stock was processed at this site and many of the adhesives used were blended there as well. Long belts of natural rubber about 2 feet wide were produced and coated with zinc-stearate for ease of handling. Two solvents, hexane and cement naptha, were used in the cement room. All shoes were constructed around a last. The pieces were cut to size and assembled using either stitching or cementing methods. There was a ventilation system in the rubber processing area. The cement room had general ventilation at floor level. Combiner and spreader machines were each ventilated. The drying tunnel on the insole making line was ventilated. The outsole prep line was enclosed and ventilated. The entire building was air conditioned other than the raw materials processing area. A full time safety director was on site. The author concludes that if the shoe making industry is selected for further study, this firm would be a good candidate for an in depth review studying specifically the solvent spreader, insole making, outsole spraying and cold process bottoming areas.
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