exposure assessment in ACME printing process

  1. What is the purpose of the exposure assessment?

The purpose of the exposure assessment was to evaluate some of the personal exposures to specific components of the chemicals that are commonly used within the ACME printing process. There was an additional sample collected in order to carry out an assessment of concentrations of ozone.

  1. Why was the exposure assessment conducted?

There are Federal regulations that require employers to carry out evaluations on the exposure of employees to some selected substances. Employers have to assure the federal government that the concentrations of these substances do not go beyond 8-hour, time weighted averages referred to as permissible exposures limits.For this reason, ACME printing has been carrying out an active air sampling program annually for several years. Since the corporation has an established active air sampling program in place, the exposure assessment was conducted as a routine.

  1. What type of sampling (personal or area) was conducted, and why?

The type of sampling conducted was personal sampling (Stephen, 2005). This is because the aim of the assessment was to evaluate personal exposures to chemical components. Therefore, the only way of finding out the chemical employees are exposed to is through a personal sample. The samples collected can show the chemicals that these employees since it shows the contents of what they have inhaled or absorbed through the skin. An area sample will give results of the chemicals that are present within the particular area where the air sample was collected but not what the employees have inhaled or absorbed and thus exposed to.

  1. What are the chemicals that were sampled, and what are their hazards?

The two chemicals sampled were n-propyl alcohol and n-propyl acetate. The health hazards of n-propyl alcohol are eye, nose and throat irritation, drowsiness, gastrointestinal pain, headaches, dry cracking skin, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. The health hazards of n-propyl acetate include irritation of eyes, throat and nose, dermatitis and narcosis (Englund, 2004).

  1. What are the most likely routes of exposure given the nature of the business?

. Individuals are exposed to these two chemicals either by inhalation or dermal absorption. The exposure potential for employees working within ACME printing is high. This is because these chemicals are used daily and hence increases the likelihood of employees inhaling the chemicals. Though the skin contact with these chemicals is minimized using gloves, employees end up getting into contact with the chemicals in one way or another.

  1. Describe the sampling equipment and methods used to collect the sample.

The sampling equipment used in the assessment was sampling pumps and appropriate filter media obtained from the analytical lab. The method used to collect the samples involved placing personal samples in the breathing zones for employees. The sampling cassettes were attached to the lapel (Stephen, 2005).  The area sample equipment was placed in areas where employees spend a lot of their time. The pumps were all calibrated before and after sample collection to make sure the air flow rates were accurate. These pumps were in operation for almost a full shift suing a flow rate that made sure necessary air volumes were collected.

  1. Provide an overview of the results, including an explanation of the “additive formula,” and discuss them in relation to the applicable exposure limit.

The results from the samples were collected and a comparison made to the applicable Permissible Exposure Limits. The exposures that fall below the PELs are not expected to adversely affect the employees. An additive formula was used for the two chemicals since they have similar adverse impacts on the health of individuals. The results from all the personal samples fall below their respective PELs. The results are all in agreement with the personal exposures from the results obtained in previous years.

  1. Were there any off-normal or unplanned incidents relative to sample collection?

On the day of sampling collection, the lamination unit failed to run. Therefore, it was not possible to carry out an evaluation of ozone concentrations.

  1. Provide a summary of the recommendations made by Sam “IH” Sampler.

The recommendations made include sharing of the sampling information with employees. There is need to inform the employees whose samples were taken about the results obtained. The employees should be well aware of the results and their meanings. Another recommendation is to continue carrying out annual air sampling within the company. The daily operations within the company can change and lead to a change in exposure potential to the employees. There is the need to conduct air sampling regularly despite the fact that company fully complies with the OSHA regulations. A separate study is required to enable full evaluation of ambient ozone concentrations.

  1. Comment on the thoroughness of the study. Did you feel that the exposure assessment was comprehensive? If not, what additional information would you provide?

The exposure assessment was thorough to some extent because it was able to give results on the concentrations of the chemicals from the personal sample collected. However, the exposure assessment failed to show ozone concentrations. There is need to conduct a separate study so as to fully evaluate the ambient ozone concentrations.

  1. Comment on who the target audience would be for this report. If you were the plant director of ACME Printing, would you be comfortable with sharing this with an auditor from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)? Do you have any concerns related to sharing this with your employees?

As a plant director, I would be comfortable with sharing the results obtained with the auditor from OSHA since the results show the company is in full compliance with their set regulations. There are no concerns with sharing the results with employees. The employees need to be aware of the results and know what they mean. They require this information since they are the ones who are exposed and come into contact with the chemicals.


Englund, R. (2004). The effect of pressure on the azeotrope of n-propyl alcohol and n-propyl acetate. Worcester, Mass.: Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Smith, T., & Bonner, R. (2000). N-Propyl Alcohol–n-Propyl Acetate–Water. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, 896-898.

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Stephen, T. (2005). The Selection and use of personal sampling pumps. Northwood [Middx., UK: Science Reviews ;.

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