HHE Determination Report No. HHE-77-43-500, Shell Oil Refinery, Deer Park, Texas, June 1978.
Wisseman-C; Xintaras-C; Hollett-B
NIOSH 1978 Jun:67 pages
Medical surveys and environmental sampling were conducted to evaluate the association between methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK) and toluene (108883) exposure and the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in workers in the Lube B Dewaxing Unit at the Shell Oil Refinery (SIC-2911) in Deer Park, Texas. The evaluation was requested by an authorized employee representative of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, Local 4-367, and by the corporate medical director of Shell on behalf of an unspecified number of affected employees. Neuropathies were mild and were manifested more by discomfort than by functional impairment. Industrial hygiene data from OSHA and Shell did not reveal the presence of any known cause of peripheral neuropathies. MEK and toluene were generally found at concentrations below 20 parts per million. The authors conclude that a possible excess of mild peripheral neuropathy exists among employees in the Lube B Dewaxing Unit, that the cause of the observed neuropathies cannot be determined, that the prevalence of overt diabetes mellitus and elevated serum triglyceride is not excessive and that the prevalence of subclinical diabetes may be excessive. They recommend that exposure to MEK and toluene be minimized in view of their possible role in causing neuropathy.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-77-43-500; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Petroleum-refining; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-7; Air-contaminants; Air-sampling; Clinical-symptoms; Unions; Occupational-health-programs; Control-methods; Chemical-exposure; Humans;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HHE-77-43-500, 67 pages, 26 references