A system for controlling ethyl-methacrylate (97632) (EMA) exposures while applying artificial fingernails was developed. The system was developed by NIOSH in response to a request from the Colorado Department of Health (CDH) for assistance in controlling occupational exposures of nail salon technicians. The system was based on a commercially available downdraft manicuring table with charcoal filters. Modifications to the table that included increasing the downdraft air volume flow from 0.03 to 0.11 cubic meter per second by using a larger fan, enlarging the plenum to produce more consistent air flow rates at the table, removing the charcoal filters and replacing them with an exhaust system, and adding an extension around the duct leading to the perforated plate at the front of the table. The modified table and the original unmodified table were tested in a Cincinnati, Ohio cosmetology school for 3 days. Breathing zone and ambient air samples were collected using XAD-2 solid sorbent tubes and analyzed for EMA and methyl-methacrylate (80626) (MMA). No MMA was detected in any of the samples. The geometric mean (GM) breathing zone EMA concentration measured when applying one set of nails when using the modified and unmodified tables averaged 0.6 and 8.7 parts per million (ppm), respectively. The GM time weighted average EMA exposures when using the modified and unmodified table were 0.7 and 9.4ppm, respectively. The GM EMA concentrations measured in the ambient air in the vicinity of the modified and unmodified tables were 0.4 and 1.7ppm, respectively. The authors recommend that cosmetology salons use a modified manicure table of the type evaluated in this study.
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