Date: Wed Nov 03 1999 - 13:35:21 CST
Offset spray powder is just starch powder. The health effects are typically
negligible (possible eye, nose and throat irritation). If the employee is
experiencing high dust conditions, then using an exhaust hood would be
appropriate. It sounds like you should perform air monitoring to quantify the
airborne levels of the powder. Then you can decide if respiratory protection is
required, following the exposure guidelines of 15 mg/m3 (total) or 5 mg/m3
The spray powder can cause quality problems if it gets on your plates and can
accelerate mechanical wear on any equipment with moving parts throughout the
To reduce your liability in this situation I would conduct air sampling during
the cleaning process, right away. Remember, if the employee calls OSHA one of
the first questions they will ask you is what is the exposure levels? Can you
prove that the employee is not overexposed to dust?
Remember that if the dust levels are above the TWA then respiratory protection
is necessary and you will need a full respiratory program to address that issue.
Rob Lindsay, CSP,OHST
Health and Safety Manager
The United States Playing Card Co.
Make sure that the airline he is using to clean the filters is regulated to less
than 30 psi and cannot be dead-headed either (another OSHA regulation).
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