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HHE determination report no. HHE-79-142-697, Mountain Bell, Denver, Colorado.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 79-142-697, 1980 Jun; :1-5
An environmental survey was conducted on February 17, 1980 at the work sites of Mountain Bell (SIC-1731) in Denver, Colorado. An authorized representative of the Communications Workers of America Local 8412 requested the investigation to evaluate exposure to a telephone cable filling compound. The filling compound was identified as pure petroleum jelly which posed no health hazard. However, the petroleum spirits used to clean the compound from cut wires was identified as a potential health hazard. Breathing zone air samples for petroleum spirits were 79, 244, and 110 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). The OSHA standard is 2,000mg/m3, but the authors note that workers may be overexposed while underground. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard existed at the work place because workers heat the petroleum spirits with open flame and also wash their hands and arms with petroleum spirits, but no health hazard existed from airborne exposure to petroleum spirits. They recommend that an adequate heating system for the spirits be installed on the company's cable splicing trucks, the use of petroleum spirits be discontinued as a human cleaning agent, and hygiene habits be improved.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-142-697; Region-8; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Cableways; Filler-materials; Petroleum-jelly; Solvents; Inhalation; Occupational-exposure; Work-environment; Author Keywords: telephone cable filling compound; petroleum jelly; petroleum spirits
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division