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Industrial hygiene survey at the Intalco Aluminum Company, Ferndale, Washington, report no. IWS-038-26.

NIOSH 1973 Feb; :1-46
During the time period February 12-16, 1973 a team of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) personnel visited the INTALCO Company at Ferndale, Washington to conduct and Industrial Hygiene Survey. The purpose of the survey is to determine exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles, fluorides, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. Improvements were made in the potline areas by installation of local exhaust ventilation and are readily apparent from a visual observation and from data obtained during this survey. Personal samplers were attached to some of the workers to sample for coal tar pitch volatiles and total dust, and run at 1.7 l/min. for the entire shift if possible, or until the worker left the work area. The total airborne fraction was collected on a 0.8u pore size silver membrane filter. The filters were weighed before the survey and then reweighed after sampling to determine the total dust concentration. Next, the samples were analyzed by the Western Area Occupational Health Laboratory for benzene soluble material. In the benzene soluble determination the particulate material on the preweighed filters is extracted by benzene using the continuous cycling process of a Soxhlet extractor. After extraction, the solution is filtered through the original filters and the weight loss of the filters is considered to be the amount of benzene soluble material. The benzene soluble analysis is based on a method requiring weight determinations. Our experience indicates that the practical accuracy of the weight determination is to the nearest 0.1 milligram. To overcome this source of error several samples were combined to give greater accuracy. General air samples to determine both particulate fluoride and hydrogen fluoride were taken in the potroom areas. The sampling device consisted of a cassette containing an 0.8u pore size Millipore Type AA filter to catch the particulates, this was followed by a backup pad which had been dipped in 6% sodium carbonate solution to collect the gaseous hydrogen fluoride. Urine samples were obtained from workers in the potroom areas and analyzed for fluoride. The amount of fluoride in all samples was determined with a fluoride specific electrode. Nineteen carbon monoxide determinations were made using Drager indicator tubes. These samples were taken in A Line and B Line in the potroom. No sulfur dioxide determinations were made. No evaluation was made of heat stress at the INTALCO plant. The INTALCO Aluminum Company would like a heat stress study conducted by NIOSH at some future date.
Aluminum-industry; Exhaust-ventilation; Respirators; Coal-tar-pitch; Fluorides; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-10; Sampling; Sampling-methods
630-08-0; 7664-39-3; 7446-09-5
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Field Studies; Industry Wide
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NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health