Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-79-16-628, Ashland Petroleum Company, 2nd Avenue, Freedom, Pennsylvania.
Environmental air sampling was performed and nondirect medical questionnaires were administered on March 6 and 7, 1979 at Ashland Petroleum Company, (SIC-1311) Freedom, Pennsylvania to determine if employees were exposed to bauxite (1318167) dust and unknown toxic substances. The evaluation was requested by the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union Local 8-621, for the 15 potentially exposed employees. The benzene (71432) soluble fraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PPAH) measured 0.43 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/cu m) and exceeded the OSHA recommended exposure limit of 0.20mg/cu m in one of four sampling periods. Total dust particulates ranged from 1.1 to 8.5mg/cu m, lead (7439921) was undetectable, and sulfur dioxide (7446095) gas measured 3.1 micrograms/cu m. All were below their respective recommended limits of 15mg/cu m, 50 mg/cu m, and 13mg/cu m. Medical reports of acute, intermittent irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, dry skin, occasional headache, sinus congestion, and wheezing with exertion were associated with increased heat and with the burning of certain products that probably contained sulfur dioxide. The authors recommend periodic vacuum cleaning of the burner house, periodic maintenance of the burner and ducts to seal leaks; a program of environmental sampling, preplacement and periodic medical examinations for exposed workers, maintaining medical records on all employees exposed for 1 or more years to sulfur dioxide, and a review of the value of the current preemployment practice of routinely recording lower back radiographs.