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Exposure to solvents and abrasive-blasting material during the manufacture of copper-based novelty gifts.

McCleery R; Martinez K; Mattorano D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :68
NIOSH conducted a health hazard evaluation (HHE) in response to an employee request concerning potential exposure to lacquer solvents, abrasive-blasting materials, and a patina solution. Employees reported rashes, nose sores, and hyperventilation. The facility bases many of its products on the manipulation of copper sheets and/or the use of abrasive-blasting to engrave impressions on stock materials. The finished appearance of the copper product is achieved through application of a patina solution (copper sulfate and various inorganic acids), a 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) lacquer solution, abrasive-blasting (using aluminum oxide or small glass beads), or an acetylene/oxygen flame applied to the surface. The lacquer solutions consisting of 2-BE and methylene chloride/toluene are applied for the protection of exposed copper and copper/patina surfaces, respectively. Personal breathing zone and/or area air samples were collected for metals, respirable dust, 2-BE, inorganic acids, and methylene chloride. Real-time sampling for airborne particulates was conducted with a light-scattering aerosol spectrometer designed for particle size discrimination. Data were collected to monitor the particulates generated by distinct events during abrasive-blasting operations. Air samples indicated that methylene chloride concentrations exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) but did not exceed any other relevant evaluation criteria. All other results were below applicable evaluation criteria. The real-time instrument measured total dust peak concentrations above 10 mg/m3 in the abrasive-blasting environment, which indicates the potential for exposures above relevant evaluation criteria. The computed mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) indicates that a majority of the mass would be deposited in the thoracic region of the respiratory system, including a sizable portion in the lower respiratory system. Therefore, the practice of wearing respirators should be continued with the existing abrasive-blasting system. NIOSH suggested modifications to the existing engineering controls, which could decrease or eliminate some personal protective equipment use during specific activities.
Industrial-processes; Industrial-factory-workers; Industrial-exposures; Exposure-assessment; Solvents; Abrasive-blasting; Abrasives; Chemical-processing; Employee-exposure; Health-hazards; Biological-effects; Copper-compounds; Copper-refining; Aluminum-oxides; Inorganic-acids; Sulfates; Glass-products; Air-sampling; Breathing-zone; Metals; Respirable-dust; Methyl-compounds; Chlorides; Sampling-equipment; Sampling-methods; Particulates; Exposure-limits; Engineering-controls; Personal-protective-equipment; Respirators; Particulate-dust; Mass-spectrometry; Particle-aerodynamics
7440-50-8; 1344-28-1; 111-76-2; 75-09-2; 108-88-3; 74-86-2
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NIOSH Division
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division