HHE report no. HHE-79-087-778, Kawecki Berlyco Industries, Inc., Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 79-087-778, 1980 Dec; :1-20
Personal breathing zone samples were collected for total and respirable dust and titanium-diboride (12045635), workers were given a medical questionnaire, pulmonary function tests a and chest X-ray and concentrations of urinary fluorides were measured at Kawecki Berylco Industries, Incorporated (SIC-2819) in Boyertown, Pennsylvania between December, 1979, and March, 1980. The evaluation was requested by the International Chemical Workers Union, Local 619 alleging adverse health effects from exposure to fluorides and carbides. Urine fluoride concentrations were within the NIOSH recommended limit of 4 milligrams per liter. The combined airborne particulate and gaseous fluoride concentrations ranged from 3,161 to 3,600 micrograms per cubic meter during the pumping of hydrofluoric-acid (7664393) from drums and drum washing, exceeding the OSHA evaluation criteria of 2,500 micrograms per cubic meter. Medical questionnaires and chest X-rays indicated that workers exposed to carbides and diborides had results that were similar to those for other workers. Pulmonary function tests were lower for exposed workers but this was not statistically significant. Production workers employed at the facility for more than 15 years had lower lung capacity than other workers. The authors conclude that workers pumping hydrofluoric-acid from drums and washing drums are exposed to unacceptable concentrations of hydrofluoric-acid and that carbides and diborides could have a chronic effect on lung function. They recommend medical tests for new employees, installation of engineering controls and an educational program for workers handling chemicals.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-087-778; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-3; Health-surveys; Pulmonary-function-tests; Air-sampling; Worker-health;
Author Keywords: Inorganic Chemicals; fluorides; total and respirable dust; titanium diboride; boron carbide
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health