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Methods to evaluate exposure assessment methods in dry-cleaning shops.

Ewers L; Earnest G; Ruder A; Burroughs G
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1997 May; :44
A pilot study was conducted to evaluate methods of exposure assessment in small dry-cleaning shops. The study was part of a larger campaign encouraging owners and workers to reduce their exposures to perchlorethylene (PCE), a solvent utilized by over 70% of dry cleaners and associated with adverse health effects. Practical methods that were likely to gain acceptance by small dry-cleaning operations were sought. Ultimately, we identified a need to quantify the reduction in exposure resulting from the installation of three types of engineering controls: a carbon absorber, fugitive emission system, and a refrigerated condenser, each retrofitted to existing dry-cleaning machines in separate shops. PCE exposures were evaluated by (I) area, (2) personal air, (3) end-exhaled breath, and (4) realtime monitoring. Monitoring methods were employed in each of the three shops on three occasions before intervention installation and on three occasions after installation. Comparison of one shop with another was not possible due to small sampling sizes and differences between shops; our primary interest was the comparison between PCE exposures before and after control installation in each shop, including measures on the identical load run before and after. Results demonstrated that each monitoring method provided unique information regarding exposures. Real-time monitoring suggested that opening of the dry cleaning machine doors was an important contribution to the overall PCE exposures, accounting for up to 70% of the exposure. Although overall the end-exhaled levels were low (<10 ppm), end-exhaled breath measurements were useful in providing detailed exposure information for individual workers in that the levels responded to changes in worker's tasks and corroborated real-time monitoring.
Dry-cleaning-industry; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Solvents; Health-hazards; Hazards; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Chemical-reactions; Engineering-controls
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division