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AIHA J (Fairfax, Va). 2002 May-Jun;63(3):326-33.

Engineering controls for furniture strippers to meet the OSHA methylene chloride PEL.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA.


This case study demonstrates how methylene chloride exposures during furniture stripping can be reduced to below the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 25 ppm (as an 8-hour time-weighted average). Five surveys were conducted at one facility; the first four resulted in employee exposure geometric means from 39 to 332 ppm. For the fifth survey local exhaust ventilation was used at the stripping tank and the rinsing area, which together exhausted 138 m3/min (4860 ft3/min). Additional controls included providing adequate make-up air, adding paraffin wax to the stripping solution, raising the level of the stripping solution in the tank, and discussing good work practices with the employee. The employees' methylene chloride exposures during the fifth survey resulted in a geometric mean of 5.6 ppm with a 95% upper confidence limit of 8.3 ppm, which was found to be significantly lower than the OSHA PEL and the OSHA action level of 12.5 ppm. The cost of the ventilation system was $8900.

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