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An exposure assessment of industries using ethylene glycol ethers.

Piacitelli-GM; Votaw-DM; Krishnan-ER
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1990 Feb; 5(2):107-114
A study of occupational exposure to glycol ethers was conducted. Field surveys were conducted by NIOSH at eight facilities that used 2-methoxymethanol (109864), 2-methoxyethyl-acetate (110496), 2- ethoxyethanol (110805), or 2-ethoxyethyl-acetate (111159) in their operations. The sites consisted of an aerospace equipment manufacturer, a glycol ethers formulator, an automotive assembly factory, an aircraft maintenance hanger, a jet fuel terminal, a coatings formulator, a paperboard manufacturer, and an electronics parts manufacturer. A total of 151 environmental and breathing zone samples were collected at the facilities and analyzed for glycol ethers. Process operations, engineering controls, the size of the exposed workforce, and the existing industrial hygiene programs were observed. The number of employees ranged from 22 at the jet fuel terminal to 10,000 at the aerospace equipment manufacturer. The number of exposed workers ranged from five to 82. Existing industrial programs ranged from none at the jet fuel terminal to comprehensive annual medical examinations and exposure monitoring by company industrial hygienists at the aerospace equipment manufacturer. All except the paperboard manufacturer had engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation and good housekeeping practices. Less than half of the samples had detectable glycol ether concentrations. These ranged from 0.04 to 2.77 parts per million (ppm) in the long term environmental samples and 0.21 to 11.9ppm in the short term samples. Most breathing zone samples had glycol ether concentrations well below the relevant OSHA or American Conference of Industrial Hygienists standards. Most facilities, however, had a potential for dermal exposure. The authors conclude that inhalation exposures to glycol ethers at the facilities are generally below the recommended standards. A high potential for dermal exposure exists at some facilities.
AIHYEX; NIOSH-Author; Occupational-exposure; Organic-chemicals; Industrial-hygiene; Air-monitoring; Skin-exposure; Aerospace-industry; Airport-personnel; Electronics-industry; Automotive-industry
109-86-4; 110-49-6; 110-80-5; 111-15-9
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Journal Article
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division