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

Estill CF; Jones JH; Kovein R
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 170-23a, 2004 Nov; :1-18
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted research on ventilation controls for reducing furniture stripping exposures to methylene chloride. Low cost ventilation systems were designed by NIOSH researchers and built and installed by Benny Bixenman of Benco Sales, Inc. (Crossville, TN). This report compares the methylene chloride levels of workers stripping furniture using different ventilation systems and different stripping solutions. Two surveys were conducted. During both surveys, two different chemical stripping solutions were used, the standard formulation (70-80% methylene chloride, B-7) and a low methylene chloride content formulation (50-60% methylene chloride, B-50). The first survey tested three control combinations: 1) slothood ventilation, low methylene chloride stripper; 2) slothood ventilation, standard stripping solution; and 3) PVC pipe ventilation, standard stripping solution. During each test, sorbent tube sampling and real-time sampling were employed. Sorbent tube data collected in the worker's breathing zone ranged from 138 to 1052 ppm. Data from both the sorbent tubes and real-time instruments showed that slothood ventilation with low methylene chloride stripper produced the lowest methylene chloride exposure levels. Slight modifications were made to the ventilation system before the second survey. The slothood ventilation system was in use during testing. Breathing zone exposures were not reduced to the OSHA methylene chloride PEL of 25 ppm. Both stripping solutions were tested; results did not show a statistical difference between the solutions. Sorbent tube data collected in the worker's breathing zone averaged 563 ppm. Two workers stripped furniture at the same time at one stripping tank during this survey. It is recommended that only one employee work at each tank at one time. Recommendations are given to alter the slothood ventilation system to reduce worker's exposures. Other workers in the facility, who are not stripping or rinsing the furniture, had exposures that were at or below the OSHA PEL.
Control-equipment; Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Equipment-design; Methyl-compounds; Furniture-industry; Furniture-workers; Solvents; Ventilation; Ventilation-hoods; Ventilation-systems; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Region-9
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
75-09-2; 67-56-1
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Field Studies; Control Technology
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division