Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0028-2501, CTL Aerospace, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.
In response to a request from employees at CTL Aerospace, Inc. (SIC- 3728), Cincinnati, Ohio, an evaluation was begun into worker complaints of tunnel vision, burning eyes and nose, headaches, occasional dizziness, a sick feeling, and skin rashes. The company manufactured composite components for the aerospace industry, and repaired and overhauled composite and metal aerospace parts. Materials used at the site included thermal plastics, ceramics, high temperature polyamides, PMR-15, epoxides, and phenolics. Personal breathing zone samples showed time weighted average methyl-ethyl- ketone (78933) (MEK) exposures below the OSHA permissible exposure limit of 200 parts per million. MEK was liberally applied to clean tools and molds prior to the fabrication of parts during worker activities. Symptoms identified during medical interviews included skin rashes; fatigue; headaches; nose and throat irritation; sinus congestion; neck, shoulder and wrist soreness; and finger stiffness. An ergonomic evaluation identified employee activities that could result in stress and eventual strain to the upper extremities, including awkward static postures and the application, repetition, and duration of significant forces to musculoskeletal tissue. The authors conclude that direct skin exposure to epoxy resins, MEK and fibrous glass could cause skin irritation. A short term MEK overexposure and potential biomechanical hazards were identified. The authors recommend that engineering solutions and personal protective equipment be used to reduce potential hazards.