HHE report: HETA-81-29-1088, Industrial Plastics, Valley City, Ohio.
Due to reports of eye irritation, labored breathing, and chest pains, a survey was requested by Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union and was performed in November, 1980 and March and April, 1981 at Industrial Plastics (SIC-3079) Valley City, Ohio. The facility employs 100 workers. Exposures to noise, isocyanates, methylene-chloride (75092), benzoic-acid (65850), 1,1,1- trichloroethane (71556), trichloroethylene (79016), styrene (100425), fibrous-glass, carbon-monoxide (630080), and organic vapors were measured. Questionnaires, pulmonary function tests, and carboxyhemoglobin concentrations were obtained. Carbon-monoxide measurements were 1 to 98 parts per million (ppm); 9 samples were above the 35ppm NIOSH recommended criteria. Methylene-chloride concentrations were 2 to 310ppm; 12 samples exceeded the 75ppm NIOSH criteria. Styrene concentrations were 12 to 140ppm; 2 samples exceeded the 100ppm OSHA criteria. Toluene-diisocyanate (26471625) (TDI), was below the recommended criteria, but appeared to affect pulmonary function. Noise measurements were 82 to 93 decibels, exceeding the 85 decibel NIOSH criteria. All other measurements were within recommended limits. Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations were increased in the foam room as the work shift progressed. Skin irritations were high in fibrous glass workers. The authors conclude that workers are overexposed to carbon-monoxide, methylene- chloride, styrene, noise, and possibly TDI. Recommendations are made to reduce exposure.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 42 pages, 29 references