Paper capacity expansion slows down - C&EN Global Enterprise (ACS

Oct 11, 1976 - The recession put a firm damper on U.S. capacity additions in 1975 and 1976 in an important chemical market area—paper and paperboard...
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But on the theory that organic compounds may have been baked out of the Martian surface material over the years by high-intensity ultraviolet light from the sun, NASA controllers last week tried to move a small rock with the lander's mechanical arm and take fresh soil from the exposed surface for the GC/MS instrument. The rock wouldn't budge, but a second attempt will be made later. D

Du Pont assails OSHA noise standard study Du Pont was the leadoff witness last week as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration began its third week of hearings on a proposed standard to limit worker exposure to noise. The company hit hard at the economic impact and technical feasibility studies on the proposed standard prepared for OSHA by a noise consulting firm, Bolt Beranek & Newman (C&EN, Sept. 27, page 5). Terence A. Deare, a Du Pont senior noise consultant, told the hearing that the BBN study "grossly understates the actual cost of compliance with the proposed standard." BBN assumes, according to Deare, that engineering control compliance with the present 90-decibel exposure standard has been achieved and that the proposed standard adds only incremental costs for audiometric testing and monitoring. Based on these erroneous assumptions and conclusions, he says, BBN estimates that the total cost of compliance with the proposed standard will be $306 million for the chemicals and allied products industry. However, a survey by Du Pont of 81 of its plants shows that investment cost for compliance for that company alone will be $355 million over five years. And, as Deare points out, Du Pont's book investment is much less than 10% of that of the chemicals and allied products industry as a whole. Also, he adds, the BBN study is directed solely to existing plant investment and totally omits consideration of the huge cost impact of noise control required for new plant investment in industry over the five-, 10-, and 15-year time frames being considered by OSHA for full compliance with the proposed standard. Du Pont also urges OSHA to recognize hearing protectors as a costeffective means of compliance, at least equal to engineering and administrative controls, such as rotating workers in and out of noisy areas, in protecting the hearing of noise-exposed workers. Under OSHA's proposed standard, hearing protectors

could be used only as a last resort to limit worker exposure. Dr. Bruce W. Karrh, Du Pont's assistant corporate medical director, said at the hearings that for the past 20 years the company has used hearing protectors and periodic audiometric testing as part of a hearing conservation program. He says that a recent Du Pont study shows that 273 employees who worked in areas of greater than 95decibel noise levels for a nine-year period, using personal hearing protectors, showed no difference in hearing loss when compared to a group of 578 employees who worked in quiet office areas. This result, he says, confirms that the hearing conservation program is an effective means of preventing industrially induced hearing loss. And, he points out, the cost of Du Pont's hearing conservation program, $10 to $20 per man per year, is far more cost-effective than total reliance on the installation of engineering controls. D

Paper capacity expansion slows down The recession put a firm damper on U.S. capacity additions in 1975 and 1976 in an important chemical market area—paper and paperboard— the American Paper Institute finds in its annual survey of industry capacity. Planned additions for the next three years also will be modest by comparison with past rates for capacity expansion. Capacity growth has picked up this year from last year, but last year's increase of 700,000 tons was the lowest for any year since World War II. The 1976 increase of 1.5 million tons will bring total capacity to 68.3 million tons. For the next three years, current estimates for capacity increases are 1.9 million tons in 1977, 1.5 million tons in 1978, and 1.2 million tons in 1979. The total increase of 4.6 million tons in the next three years will bring industry capacity to 72.9 million tons by 1979. The average annual increase of 2.2% over these years will be considerably below the annual growth rate of 4.0% between 1956 and 1969 and somewhat below the rate of 2.5% between 1970 and 1976. The capacity additions this year and last have been well below predictions in the institute's past annual surveys for these years. The increase in 1975 was 500,000 tons lower than the originally planned 1.2 million tons. Similarly, the 1976 increase looks now to be 800,000 tons below original plans. The institute concludes that these shortfalls stem

Paper capacity gains in next few years wilt be modest compared to past rates

mainly from accelerated shutdowns of marginal facilities, expansion delays, and changes in product mix. The institute also supplies some important advice on interpreting its capacity figures. Capacity estimates in past surveys frequently have been wide of the mark, either up or down, as in the case of 1975 and 1976 forecasts. These gaps underscore the considerable flexibility in U.S. paper and paperboard capacity. For example, the institute notes, in the tight conditions of 1973 the industry "found" extra capacity through better product mix, heavier basis weights, and longer runs. Then in 1975, capacity was lowered by normalizing machine operations and closing down marginal facilities. Hence, future capacity increases could well exceed the current forecast if demand rises strongly. D

Scientists close in on male sex gene It's widely known that the sex characteristics of humans are carried by their X and Y chromosomes. Persons who have two X chromosomes are female, those who have one X and one Y are male. But exactly how many genes on the Y chromosome are responsible for male sexual characteristics and where they are located on that chromosome has not been pinned down. An important advance in isolating the gene or group of genes responsible for male traits now has been made by geneticists at eight medical centers headed by Dr. Stephen W. Wachtel of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. They find that one gene known to reside on the Y chromosome, the one that is responsible for synthesis of H-Y antiOct. 11, 1976 C&EN