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Stowage of the Dry-Cleaning Solvent
with the hazards associated with its use. The safety hazards  of  perchloroethylene  are  contained  in BUMEDINST   6260.12. Many  incidents  have  been  reported  where Ship’s Servicemen were overcome by fumes from dry-cleaning  solvent.  To  prevent  and  minimize  the hazards  of  handling  dry-cleaning  solvent,  you must  follow  these  precautions: Use  solvent  only  in  well-ventilated  spaces. Avoid prolonged or repeated breathing of vapors. Ventilate stowage areas well. Free exhaust ducts, fans, and ventilation shafts  of  dirt,  lint,  or  other  debris. Vent  vapor  recovery  units  to  the  outside air. In addition to the above precautions you should inspect  your  equipment  daily  for  loose  or  leaky joints,  couplings,  connections,  valves,  covers,  or doors  and  report  all  discrepancies  promptly  to maintenance  personnel.  Do  not  eat,  drink,  or smoke in areas where the dry-cleaning solvent is handled. Any liquid solvent, even a trickle that comes in   contact   with   the   atmosphere,   presents   a potential hazard to personnel. If spills occur, they should  be  cleaned  up  promptly.  Personnel  who clean  spills  should  wear  rubber  gloves  and  an approved  respiratory  protection  device  that  is equipped with a canister or filter suitable for use with  chlorinated  vapors.  Personnel  not  wearing rubber gloves or respirators should remain clear of  areas  where  spills  have  occurred.  Open  all doors  and  turn  on  exhaust  fans  to  ventilate  the area. You  should  use  a  sorbent  to  clean  up  small spills. Allow the sorbent to stay in place until it has  completely  absorbed  the  solvent  and  then shovel the solvent-laden material into an airtight container  and  dispose  of  it  properly.  If  a  large spill occurs, it should be drained and then pumped into  an  airtight  container  for  disposal.  The  dry- cleaning  solvent  should  not  be  dumped  into sewers, placed near water supplies, nor should it be drained into the bilges. It should be placed in a suitable container and disposed of in one of the following   ways: Released  to  a  licensed  reclaimer Incinerated  in  an  approved  incinerator Evaporated  in  very  small  quantities Buried   in   landfills   in   compliance   with local,  state,  and  federal  regulations Dumping  the  solvent  into  any  body  of  water  is strongly   discouraged   and   may   be   illegal.   No personnel should be allowed to return to any areas where  spills  have  occurred  until  all  evidence  of excessive  vapors  is  gone. HEALTH  HAZARDS Perchloroethylene  can  be  used  safely  when proper  precautions  are  observed;  however,  the user   must   guard   against   certain   hazardous properties  of  the  solvent.  Users  should  guard against inhalation of excessive perchloroethylene vapor, prolonged or repeated contact of the liquid with the skin, swallowing the liquid, and splashing into   the   eyes.   Manufacturers   of   dry-cleaning equipment  design  and  build  their  dry-cleaning systems  with  these  points  in  mind.  When  such equipment  is  operated  and  maintained  in  an appropriate manner, dry-cleaning solvent should not  become  a  health  hazard. Dry-cleaning supervisors should make sure a buddy   system   is   adopted   in   the   dry-cleaning operation.  All  dry-cleaning  personnel  should  be alert for the signs of overexposure or illness caused by   the   dry-cleaning   solvent   including   the following: Loss  of  inhibitions,  lightheadedness, giddiness,  or  drunkenness Loss   of   coordination Stinging  sensation  in  the  eyes,  nose,  or throat Headache,  nausea,  or  dizziness FIRST AID All personnel who work in areas where over- exposure to perchloroethylene could occur should be   thoroughly   trained   in   administering appropriate emergency first aid. Experience has shown that promptly administering such aid can help  to  reduce  the  possible  adverse  effects  of accidental exposure. You must realize, however, that first aid is for emergency treatment only and medical attention should be obtained promptly. 6-5

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