HHE Determination, Report No. HHE-76-102-374, Domore Office Furniture, Inc., Elkhart, Indiana.
Acting on a request from an authorized representative of local 15206 of the United Steelworkers of America regarding employees exposure to rust-lick, a water soluble chemical and rust inhibitor which reportedly produced headache, dizziness, loss of coordination and nausea, a health hazard evaluation survey was conducted by NIOSH at Domore Office Furniture (SIC-2522), Inc., Elkhart, Indiana, on September 22 and December 14, 1976. The company is engaged in manufacturing various types of office furniture. Based on environmental air samplings, confidential interviews of 12 affected workers, evaluation of ventilation systems and work practices, and available toxicity information, it was concluded that employee exposures to welding fumes, rust-lick, a proprietary acid, a proprietary base, nuisance dust and organic vapor did not pose a health hazard at the concentrations measured. Measurement revealed an inadequate ventilation system, together with a general lack of knowledge by both employer and employees of the types of materials used, the toxicological properties of these materials and safe handling procedures. All employees reported one or more work related symptoms; simple removal of the affected employee from the plant resulted in complete resolution of most symptoms. No biomedical abnormalities were recorded. The findings suggest that the cause of the problems at Domore is a multifactorial one. Recommendations are made for improved ventilation and better identification and handling of chemical materials.
Hazard Evaluation Services Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HHE-76-102-374, 15 pages, 7 references