HHE Report No. HETA-84-488-1793, J.R. Simplot Company, Pocatello, Idaho.
In response to a request from the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, a health hazard evaluation was conducted at the J.R. Simplot Company (SIC-2874), Pocatello, Idaho, concerning exposures to acid mists, ammonia (7664417), fluorides, nitrogen- dioxide (10102440) (NO2), free silica (7631869), and sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2). There were about 600 workers at the facility. A medical and occupational history questionnaire completed by 74 men indicated that 30 percent had eye or upper respiratory complaints at least 1 to 2 days/week, and 17 percent had such complaints on most days. No relationship was found between chronic cough, chronic bronchitis or shortness of breath and length of employment. Chest x- rays of 40 workers did not reveal signs of pneumoconiosis. Some samples for ammonia, hydrogen-fluoride (7664393), phosphoric-acid (7664382), sulfuric-acid (7664939), and SO2 exceeded the respective NIOSH recommended exposure limits (REL). The REL for free silica was also exceeded, but exposed workers wore respirators. The authors conclude that workers are overexposed to ammonia, hydrogen- fluoride, phosphoric-acid, sulfuric-acid, silica, and SO2. The authors recommend that exposures to hazardous vapors, acid mists and particulates be reduced through application of engineering controls, respiratory protection, and monitoring. Medical evaluations should be conducted for workers using respirators and workers exposed to silica.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-84-488-1793, 24 pages, 5 references