Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0109-2494, Pan American Health Organization, National Smelting Company, Oruro, Bolivia.
NIOSH 1995 Mar; :1-44
In response to a request from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), an investigation was begun into possible exposures to heavy metals and sulfur-dioxide (7446095) at Empresa Metalurigica Vinto (SIC-3339), a large tin smelter near Oruro, Bolivia. Fifteen workers were selected for exposure monitoring. Of the 15, 14 had exposures greater than the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit or the OSHA Permissible Exposure Level to arsenic; 11 had hazardous exposures to cadmium (7440439), and eight had hazardous exposures to sulfur-dioxide. Surfaces throughout the facility were highly contaminated with heavy metals. Fifteen workers participated in biological monitoring studies. The median value for urinary arsenic (7440382) (UA) was 78 micrograms per gram creatinine. Nine of the 15 workers had UA levels exceeding the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Biological Exposure Index. The median blood lead (7439921) level was 19 micrograms per deciliter. The authors conclude that a significant health hazard from exposures to heavy metals and sulfur-dioxide exists for some of the employees at this location. The authors recommend that measures be taken to control the hazards, including further study of exposure, implementing engineering controls, improving hygiene facilities, implementing medical surveillance programs, and improving respiratory protection programs. (A Spanish language version of this publication is available. See NTIS-PB95-261061).
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0109-2494; Hazard-Confirmed; Smelters; Heavy-metals; Occupational-exposure; Sulfur-oxides; Primary-smelting; Biological-monitoring
7446-09-5; 7440-43-9; 7440-38-2; 7439-92-1
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-94-0109-2494, 44 pages, 26 references