Document Detail

An evaluation of retrofit engineering control interventions to reduce perchloroethylene exposures in commercial dry-cleaning shops.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11843196     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Real-time monitoring was used to evaluate the ability of engineering control devices retrofitted on two existing dry-cleaning machines to reduce worker exposures to perchloroethylene. In one dry-cleaning shop, a refrigerated condenser was installed on a machine that had a water-cooled condenser to reduce the air temperature, improve vapor recovery, and lower exposures. In a second shop, a carbon adsorber was retrofitted on a machine to adsorb residual perchloroethylene not collected by the existing refrigerated condenser to improve vapor recovery and reduce exposures. Both controls were successful at reducing the perchloroethylene exposures of the dry-cleaning machine operator. Real-time monitoring was performed to evaluate how the engineering controls affected exposures during loading and unloading the dry-cleaning machine, a task generally considered to account for the highest exposures. The real-time monitoring showed that dramatic reductions occurred in exposures during loading and unloading of the dry-cleaning machine due to the engineering controls. Peak operator exposures during loading and unloading were reduced by 60 percent in the shop that had a refrigerated condenser installed on the dry-cleaning machine and 92 percent in the shop that had a carbon adsorber installed. Although loading and unloading exposures were dramatically reduced, drops in full-shift time-weighted average (TWA) exposures were less dramatic. TWA exposures to perchloroethylene, as measured by conventional air sampling, showed smaller reductions in operator exposures of 28 percent or less. Differences between exposure results from real-time and conventional air sampling very likely resulted from other uncontrolled sources of exposure, differences in shop general ventilation before and after the control was installed, relatively small sample sizes, and experimental variability inherent in field research. Although there were some difficulties and complications with installation and maintenance of the engineering controls, this study showed that retrofitting engineering controls may be a feasible option for some dry-cleaning shop owners to reduce worker exposures to perchloroethylene. By installing retrofit controls, a dry-cleaning facility can reduce exposures, in some cases dramatically, and bring operators into compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) peak exposure limit of 300 ppm. Retrofit engineering controls are also likely to enable many dry-cleaning workers to lower their overall personal TWA exposures to perchloroethylene.
G Scott Earnest; Lynda M Ewers; Avima M Ruder; Martin R Petersen; Ronald J Kovein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Applied occupational and environmental hygiene     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1047-322X     ISO Abbreviation:  Appl Occup Environ Hyg     Publication Date:  2002 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-02-14     Completed Date:  2002-02-28     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9103256     Medline TA:  Appl Occup Environ Hyg     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  104-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
Environmental Monitoring / methods*
Intervention Studies
Laundering / instrumentation,  methods
Occupational Exposure / analysis*,  prevention & control*
Occupational Health
Sensitivity and Specificity
Tetrachloroethylene / analysis*
United States
Video Recording
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Air Pollutants, Occupational; 127-18-4/Tetrachloroethylene

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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