Worker exposures to chemical and physical hazards at Newport Industrial Products, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (SIC-3011), in Newport, Tennessee were surveyed on September 22 and 23, 1976. An evaluation was requested by a representative of the United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum, and Plastic Workers of America, International Union on behalf of 260 workers. No measurable physiological strain appeared in the preshift and postshift medical tests given to 41 of the factory personnel. Wet bulb globe temperatures exceeded American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values for permissible heat exposure. Concentrations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (71556), 2- nitropropane (79469), methylchloride (74873), dioxane (123911), and methylethyl-ketone (78933) were below respective OSHA standards of 350, 25, 500, 200 and 100 parts per million (ppm). Rubber solvent and 5 to 8 carbon chain alkanes were below the ACGIH standard of 400ppm and the NIOSH standard of 350 milligrams per cubic meter, respectively. Parts of the ventilation system were inadequate. The authors recommend continuing surveillance to avoid excessive heat stress and to minimize rubber process emissions exposures, including preplacement and periodic medical examinations, health and safety education concerning heat acclimatization, use of appropriate clothing, exposure reduction for periods of high heat stress, provision of adequate ventilation, availability of salt, drinking water, emergency supplies, and scales to measure daily weight loss from dehydration.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Cincinnati, Ohio, 51 pages, 30 references