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In-depth survey report: assisting furniture strippers in reducing the risk from methylene chloride stripping formulations at Sunset Strip, Inc., Huntington Beach, California.

Jones JH; Estill CF; Kurimo RW; Kovein RJ; Watkins DS; Shaw PB
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 170-22a, 2002 May; :1-16
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted research on ventilation controls for reducing furniture stripping methylene chloride exposures to the OSHA PEL of 25 ppm. Low cost ventilation systems were designed by NIOSH researchers along with Benny Bixenman of Benco Sales, Inc. (Cookville, Tennessee). The controls were constructed and installed by Benco Sales. The controls consisted of enclosing and attaching local exhaust systems to the stripping tank and the rinsing booth and adding an air shower at the stripping booth. This survey tested four control combinations using new ventilation: 1) worker A with an air shower, 2) worker A without an air shower, 3) worker B with an air shower, and 4) worker B without an air shower. During each test, sorbent tube sampling and real-time sampling were employed. Sorbent tube data collected in the worker's breathing zone ranged from 11 to 53 ppm. Passive monitor data results were similar. A statistical difference in breathing zone exposure was found between workers (p=0.0001), with worker A having the lowest exposures. No statistical difference in breathing zone exposures was found for the two air shower conditions; therefore, more data are needed to determine ability of the air shower to lower exposures. Breathing zone exposures (95% confidence limits) for worker A, with or without the air shower, were lower than the OSHA PEL of 25 ppm. Differences between the workers are believed to be related to work practices. The goal of reducing methylene chloride exposures to the new OSHA standard of 25 ppm was achieved only for the case of the more experienced worker (worker A) while using the air shower. Exposure results are statistically different between workers. Additionally, use of the air shower resulted in only slightly lower exposures, with no statistical difference. Therefore, more data are needed to determine ability of air shower to lower exposures. Passive monitors results were similar to the sorbent sampling results and are recommended as an alternative sampling method for sampling short time periods. Other workers who are not stripping furniture but who are working in the shop should meet the 12.5 ppm OSHA action level.
Furniture-industry; Furniture-workers; Paint-removers; Solvent-vapors; Solvents; Small-businesses; Sampling; Exhaust-systems; Equipment-design; Exposure-limits; Engineering-controls; Environmental-control-equipment; Ventilation; Breathing-zone; Sampling-equipment; Region-9; Work-practices; Control-technology
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Field Studies; Control Technology
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health