Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2007-0355-3102, evaluation of exposure to epoxy resin while manufacturing artificial floral arrangements, Immortalis Botanicals, Farmville, Virginia.
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, HETA 2007-0355-3102, 2010 Feb; :1-15
On August 31, 2007, NIOSH received an HHE request from management at Immortalis Botanicals (Immortalis) in Farmville, Virginia. The company was concerned about employee exposure to epoxy resin used during the manufacture of luxury artificial floral arrangements. We evaluated the worksite on November 5-7, 2008. We observed work practices, reviewed PPE use, and spoke with employees about work-related health concerns. We used TD tubes (qualitative analysis) and charcoal tubes (quantitative analysis) to collect PBZ air samples for VOCs. We also collected PBZ air samples for amines. Based on the TD results, the charcoal tubes were analyzed for toluene, 2-butoxyethanol, cellosolve acetate, xylene, and ethyl benzene. Samples were also analyzed for butyl glycidyl ether, an ingredient in the epoxy resin. Very low concentrations of these VOCs were detected, and all PBZ sample results were below the applicable OELs. Amines were not detected. We observed epoxy resin and isopropyl alcohol on employees' skin, increasing their risk for contact dermatitis and sensitization. We also observed employees working in awkward postures, placing them at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. We recommend that the Mixer/Pourer use a dispensing gun to add epoxy resin to the vases to minimize spills and prevent employees from placing their forearm on the table while pouring epoxy resin from a beaker. We also recommend that the Mixer/Pourer wear butyl rubber gloves (either shoulder or gauntlet length) and a butyl rubber apron when handling epoxy resins or isopropyl alcohol. We recommend using a wheeled stool to avoid kneeling when pouring epoxy resin into the vases, and providing an antifatigue mat for the Arranger to prevent leg strain. A sink with warm water and soap and an emergency eyewash station should be installed near the mixing area.
Region-3; Epoxy-resins; Work-practices; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Organic-compounds; Organic-solvents; Solvents; Solvent-vapors; Gloves; Protective-clothing; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders;
Author Keywords: All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing; epoxy resin; butyl glycidyl ether; VOCs; amines; contact dermatitis; small business;
108-88-3; 111-76-2; 111-15-9; 1330-20-7; 100-41-4; 2426-08-6
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health