Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2003-0328-2935, CPC Pasadena Plastics Complex, Pasadena, Texas.
On July 27, 2003 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a Health Hazard Evaluation request from the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy (PACE) Union expressing concerns about employee exposures to hexavalent chromium (CrVI) at the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPC) Pasadena Plastics Complex, Pasadena, Texas. Chromium is used at the facility as a catalyst in the polyethylene production process. On September 3 and 4, 2003 NIOSH investigators toured the facility, reviewed records, and conducted confidential employee interviews. Due to the limited personal air sampling data available and the potential for employee exposures while replacing components and transferring catalyst, a more in-depth follow-up site visit which included additional confidential employee interviews, air sampling and surface wipe sampling for CrVI was conducted on October 20-24, 2003. Air sampling results were below all applicable occupational exposure limits. Wipe sample results were inconclusive due to the high concentration of CrVI found in the media blanks. NIOSH investigators concluded that no hazard from exposure to CrVI exists. Personal and area air sampling results for CrVI samples collected during this Health Hazard Evaluation were below applicable occupational exposure limits. Employees reported no symptoms related to chromium exposure. CPC Pasadena Plastics Complex has an adequate program to protect their employees from being overexposed to CrVI. Recommendations for improving the Chromium Catalyst Health and Hygiene Program are provided in this report.