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HHE determination report no. HHE-77-3-420, Essex International, Kittaning, Pa.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 77-3-420, 1977 Sep; :1-21
A Health Hazard Evaluation investigation was conducted by NIOSH on October 9-13 and 18-19, 1976, at the Essex International plant in Kittaning, Pa., a facility engaged in the production of diodes and electronic door opening controls (SIC-3674). The evaluation was prompted by a request from an authorized employee representative regarding potential exposure to organic vapors generated by a variety of solvents. Environmental sampling revealed that exposures to organic vapors consisting of mixtures of ethanol (64175) methanol (67561), toluene (108883) n-butyl-acetate (123864) n-butyl-alcohol (71363) s-butyl-alcohol (78831), acetone (67641), ethyl-acetate (141786), methyl-acetate (79209), trichloroethylene (79016), and 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane were toxic under the conditions of use noted on September 30, 1976 which resulted in unexplained illness. According to medical interviews of 252 of 297 affected employees, subsequent incidents appeared to have been the result of a fear-anxiety reaction which was potentiated by the previous conditions, resulting in a hyperventilation syndrome due to respiratory alkalosis. Recommendations are made for improved operational controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HHE-77-3-420; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Industrial-plants; Electronics-industry; Air-quality-measurement; Air-contamination; Organic-solvents; Chlorinated-ethylenes; Respiratory-system-disorders; Author Keywords: organic vapors; fear-anxiety reaction; hyperventilation syndrome; respiratory alkalosis
64-17-5; 67-56-1; 108-88-3; 123-86-4; 71-36-3; 78-83-1; 67-64-1; 141-78-6; 79-20-9; 79-01-6
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division