Small businesses frequently have inadequate in-house expertise to solve a variety of safety and health problems. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has therefore conducted a demonstration project in the commercial lithographic printing industry, which consists largely of small companies, in an effort to establish suitable control technology for airborne solvent vapors released primarily during press cleaning operations. These solvent vapors have a number of potential adverse health effects, including narcosis, kidney and liver damage, and cancer. Also, airborne anti-offset powder is a potential allergic sensitizer and cause of occupational asthma. As a means of controlling worker exposures to the vapors and dust, a local exhaust inlet was attached to the side of the press adjacent to the paper delivery point. Tempered outside air was introduced through ceiling outlets installed to make up for the exhausted air. Measurements of press operator exposure and area concentrations of solvent vapors and area concentration of antioffset powder were made before and after installation of the new ventilation controls. Vapor concentrations were reduced by 73 percent for the press operators. Area concentrations of the vapors were reduced by 86 percent and dust concentration by 67 percent. The ventilation system was found to be suitable for vapor and dust control, although substitution of a cleaning solution containing non-carcinogenic solvents for solutions containing carcinogens was recommended.
Printers-asthma; Printing-industry; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-particles; Ventilation; Ventilation-equipment; Ventilation-systems; Cleaning-compounds; Solvent-vapors; Vapors; Statistical-analysis; Dust-measurement; Dust-inhalation; Dust-exposure; Dust-analysis; Carcinogens; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Ergonomics