HETA Report No. TA-79-6, Fiber Materials Inc., Biddeford, Maine.
Toxic exposures to coal tar pitch (65996932) volatiles, benzene solubles, and polynuclear aromatics were investigated at Building No. 2 of Fiber Material Inc., (SIC-2824) Biddeford, Maine on December 18 and 19, 1978, at the request of company management. Analysis of air samples reveal that the impregnation operator and the pressure vessel operator were exposed to levels of coal tar pitch volatiles (3.01 and 2.28 milligrams per cubic meter of air, respectively), that exceeded the OSHA standard of 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter of air for an 8 hour Time Weighted Average exposure. Significant amounts of carcinogenic polynuclear aromatics were also identified, including benzo(a)pyrene (50328), chrysene (218019), and benzo(a)anthracene (56553), as well as the suspected carcinogens pyrene (129000) and fluoranthene (206440). Employee medical interviews revealed no health problems. Recommendations resulting from the evaluation include the installation of engineering controls, use of protective clothing and NIOSH approved respirators with full facepiece, adherence to good personal and workplace hygiene practices, labeling of coal tar pitch containers with hazard and precaution information, posting hazard signs in areas where possible exposure exists, covering liquid coal tar pitch spills and leaks with sand and cleaning up after cooling has occurred, medical surveillance and examinations, and periodic air sampling.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. TA-79-6, 14 pages, 7 references