In-depth survey report: control of airborne solvents in a small offset print shop at Express Service Printing, Indianapolis, Indiana, report no. CT-205-13a.
The results of personal exposure and area sampling are presented for airborne solvent vapors at a small printing establishment during August and September of 1995. Between the first and the second sampling periods, a local exhaust system was installed on two of the three operating presses. When processing small pieces, press cleaning operations are performed by hand by the press operators. Cleaning solvents typically include a volatile mixture of several compounds. Prior to installing the ventilation system, peak dust concentrations were near 0.8mg/m3, with the average concentration around 0.22mg/m3 during working hours. Once the fresh air system was installed, the dust concentration peaked at 0.4mg/m3, with an average of about 0.07mg/m3, a reduction of about 67%. The authors suggest that solvents containing methylene-chloride (75092) be replaced with ones that do not, avoiding potentially carcinogenic or other highly toxic components. Duct work should be smooth on the inside and have a circular cross section. The application of local exhaust controls to offset lithographic presses promises to reduce airborne cleaning solvent and antioffset powder emissions, and should result in acceptable worker exposures.