HHE Report No. HETA-81-193-917, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.
Worker exposures to toluene (108883), benzene (71432), and carbon- tetrachloride (56235) (CCl4) were surveyed on March 13, 1981 in the chemistry building at Montana State University (SIC-8221) in Bozeman, Montana. The evaluation was requested by a university employee on behalf of an unspecified number of workers. General area air samples were collected in the chemical store rooms on each floor of the chemistry building, and 26 employees completed health questionnaires. Concentrations of benzene, toluene, and CCl4 were all below the respective OSHA standards of 32, 63, and 700 milligrams per cubic meter for an 8 hour workday. Five of the 26 workers surveyed reported symptoms such as dermatitis, headaches, dizziness, coughing, nosebleeds, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. The remaining 21 workers reported no health complaints. The author concludes that a potential chemical exposure hazard exists, even though no specific hazardous exposures were identified. Recommendations include ventilation improvements, proper storage of chemicals, installation of eye wash fountains, use of safety goggles and rubber gloves when handling chemicals, and worker education on toxic chemical hazards.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 6 pages, 3 references