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Exposures to metalworking fluids in small-size machine shops.

Piacitelli GM; Hughes R; Sieber W; Glaser R; Catalano J; Kent M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :45
This paper presents results from an industrywide study of occupational exposures to metalworking fluids (MWFs) in small-size (less than 500 employees) machine shops. This is a joint project between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH} and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that is intended to assess the range of current occupational exposures to MWFs. In addition to being used for potential rulemaking, this information will help determine industrywide needs for future evaluation and control MWF exposures. Survey sites were selected that represent a range of sizes, machining operations, machine age, fluid types, and engineering controls. A total of 80 field surveys were conducted between January 1997 and March 1998; 1 day of exposure sampling was conducted at each survey site. Full-shift personal and area samples for total and thoracic particulates were collected and analyzed for the "total mass" and the "MWF-mass" concentrations; the MWF-mass was determined using a solvent extraction procedure developed by NIOSH and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). For this presentation, data were analyzed for the initial 28 surveys. Results indicate that 70% of all total mass concentrations and 86% of MWF-mass concentrations were below 0.5 mg/m3. Differences were observed in the total and MWF-mass concentrations by operation type and fluid type. In general, the highest concentrations were associated with straight fluids (geometric mean [GM] =0.50 mg/m3). Grinding operations were associated with the highest average total mass concentrations (GM=0.45 mg/m3) while turning operations had the highest MWF-mass concentrations (0.27 mg/m3). For most samples collected, the MWF-mass contribution was about 50% of the total mass. These results are similar to those reported in studies involving MWF-exposures in large-size machine shops in the automotive industry. Together, these data indicate that worker exposures to MWFs have declined over the past 20 years and indicate that current exposures are significantly lower than the current permissible exposure limit of 5.0 mg/m3.
Machine-shop-workers; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Machine-tools; Metalworking; Metalworking-fluids; Metalworking-industry; Small-businesses; Employee-exposure; Industrial-processes; Industrial-exposures; Sampling; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Fluids; Surveillance-programs; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Engineering-controls; Grinding-equipment
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division