Furniture Refinishing Case Study

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For this module assignment, you are asked to develop a compliance sampling strategy for a furniture refinishing company. In the assignment scenario, this company specializes in stripping old paint and varnish off hardwood furniture, sanding and repairing the wood, and then staining and varnishing the final product. In a preliminary walk-through visit, you note the following operations and activities:

Paint Stripping: There are five workers working in this area. Four of them use a methylene chloride-containing product to rapidly remove the old paint and varnish. The product is put onto rags and hand-applied to the furniture. One worker is a “helper,” providing tools and equipment to the other four workers.

Sanding: This area has four workers. Three of the workers use power-sanding tools to do the majority of the sanding. One worker does the final touches by hand sanding the furniture with fine sand paper.

Staining and Varnishing: In this area, two workers stain the furniture and two workers apply the varnish. The workers use brushes to apply the stains and varnish. The stain is comprised of 35% 2-butoxyethanol, 35% ethyl alcohol, 2% xylene, 1% ethyl benzene, with the balance of the mixture containing non-regulated materials. The varnish contains 45% Stoddard solvent, 20% ethyl alcohol, 2% xylene, 1% ethyl benzene, with the balance of the mixture containing non-regulated materials.

No particular ventilation system is observed. Only a window unit air conditioner and an electrical space heater are present. Workers do the stripping in one corner of the building, while others do the staining and varnishing next to that work area, but not in a separate room. Sanders are kept in a separate room to keep the dust away from the final varnishing step.

All workers work from 8 am – 5 pm with a one-hour lunch break. The employer has provided a separate area away from the work space for breaks and lunch.

The employer wants to keep costs low, but ensure regulatory compliance. In your development of an appropriate sampling strategy, be sure to review the assigned reading and resources, and address the following issues.

For what contaminants will you sample? Will you perform area or personal monitoring or both? What is/are the appropriate sampling method(s)? Can sampling for multiple contaminants occur on the same sampling device or collection media? What equipment and/or sampling media is needed?

In order to keep the employer costs down, but provide an appropriate and thorough exposure assessment, which employees will be sampled and for what? Why?

What questions might you ask the employer to determine which day or days you propose to collect these samples? Can/should all sampling occur on the same day?

Your write-up should follow current APA formatting style for references, and in-text citations. Use APA format. At least three pages are required, not including the reference page and title page. Table of contents and abstract are not needed.

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