Pesticides engineering control technology assessment survey, plant J-1 at Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, report no. CT 129-16a.
This report is intended to describe effective applications of control technology which may be of general use to the pesticide manufacturing and formulating industry: it is not intended to describe all aspects of control programs in this plant. Plane J-1 produces a family of pesticides which are finely divided powders. The plant is located within a larger facility which has many other chemical operations and a complete complement of mechanical, engineering, analytical, industrial hygiene and other technical and utility services. The plant itself is housed in several older buildings, and the three basic types of operations (wet processing, dry processing, and packaging) are housed in separate buildings. Basic unit operations employed in the process are batch chemical reaction, solids dissolving, filtration, drying, transport of solids, liquids, and slurries, solids cooling and blending and packaging. The process requires storage and handling of several hazardous or toxic compounds. Environmental controls include wet scrubbing for gases, wet scrubbing for particulates, liquid seal transfer and storage, and baghouse filtration for particulate collection. Raw materials are either solids or liquids (both volatile organic compounds and inorganic compounds). Most raw materials are received by rail and are transferred to silos (solids) or tanks (liquids). The plant operations and transfer of hazardous materials are performed only by the senior operators in the plant. The entry level jobs are packaging and utility (cleanup). Detailed procedures for the handling of materials (i.e. tank car unloading procedures) are published as plant SOP's, and are strictly followed. The product is packaged in 3#, 5#, 25# and 50# bags and in 250# fiber drums. No product is sold in bulk bins. The principal product has a relatively low toxicity (LD50 approximately 5000-8000 mg/kg) although some starting materials and intermediates are more toxic (LD50 approximately 300 mg/kg). Dust explosions and thermal decomposition of the product are concerns, and control of the oxygen content in the process equipment is of primary importance. The plant operations are autonomous to a large extent, although corporate headquarters provides direction and support. Industrial hygiene activities are carried on both locally and from corporate headquarters. Likewise, design engineering may be performed locally, with review and approval at corporate headquarters for those projects above a certain dollar limit. Larger projects will be wholly designed at corporate headquarters. The medical program is directed by the Corporate Medical Director, but the administration of the program and all medical care are the responsibility of the plant medical department. Examination and medical care for any job related conditions are given by the plant. Pre-employment exams are required of all employees. These exams include: Occupational history; Health history; Physical examination; Visual acuity testing; Audiometric testing; Pulmonary function tests; Haematological analysis (SMA-26); Urinalysis; Electro-cardiogram. The plant physician takes medical histories and performs examinations and evaluates testing performed by nurses. All employees are offered a physical examination annually. Employees over 40 years of age receive a complete physical examination, those under 40 years receive the complete examination bi-annually with the electrocardiogram and physician conference omitted from the examination in the alternating year. Additional tests are offered to employees who work near carcinogens, materials which inhibit cholinesterase and those which affect hemoglobin. In these cases, preassignment monitoring is conducted to establish a baseline for each employee. Record keeping is rendered more effective because of company policy that all first aid or medical care rendered in plant must be performed in the dispensary or reported to the dispensary. This insures that all injuries and illnesses are documented. Medical records are kept indefinitely. Posting and labeling are carried out throughout the plant.