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Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-77-107-485, Mesta Machine Company, West Homestead, Pennsylvania.

Wilcox T; Kominsky JR
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 77-107-485, 1978 Apr; :1-13
An investigation has been conducted to evaluate potential hazards from a cadmium babbitting operation in the erection department involved in the manufacture of equipment for steel rolling mills (SIC-3341). The babbitting section of the erecting department performs centrifugal casting of linings of oil bearings and other types of bearings. The two types of babbitt metals and their alloying elements include: 1) cadmium (7440439) base containing 97.5% cadmium and 1.5% lead (7439921), and 2) tin (7440315) base containing 89% tin, 3.5% copper (7440508), 7.5% antimony (7440360) and .25% lead. Prior to the investigation, melting of the cadmium base babbitt ceased. Thus, no environmental evaluation was conducted. The medical evaluation consisted of questionnaires administered to each worker, a directed physical examination, pulmonary function test, and blood and urine analyses. It has been determined that a hazard to the health of workers exposed to cadmium may have existed prior to the cessation of cadmium bearing babbitting operations. Elevated blood and/or urine cadmium levels (indicative of possible excessive cadmium exposure) were found in 5 out of 11 potentially exposed workers tested. In addition, two workers who showed elevated blood and urine cadmium concentrations had symptoms compatible with chronic cadmium toxicity. In addition, these two workers also suffered symptoms compatible with acute cadmium inhalation poisoning during an episode in April 1977, when cadmium ingots were mistaken for noncadmium containing babbitt ingots and were melted and poured into bearings without the respiratory precaution normally taken when working with cadmium.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Air-sampling; Air-quality-measurement; Coatings; Air-contamination; Heavy-metals; Industrial-hygiene; Steel-industry; Occupational-health; Blood-sampling; Urinalysis; Cadmium-poisoning; Steelworkers; HHE-77-107-485; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Author Keywords: Cadmium; Urine Cadmium; Bearings
7440-43-9; 7439-92-1; 7440-31-5; 7440-50-8; 7440-36-0
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division