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HHE determination report no. HHE-77-87-440, St. Joe Mineral Corporation, Herculaneum, Missouri (includes addendum).

Wisseman CL; Geissert JO
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 77-87-440, 1977 Nov; :1-23
The medical program for lead (7439921) exposed workers at the Lead Smelting Division of the Saint Joe Mineral Corporation (SIC-3332), Herculaneum, Missouri, was evaluated after a request was received from an employee representative of the Teamsters Union Local 688. A NIOSH physician and a NIOSH industrial hygienist surveyed the corporation on July 26 and 27, 1977 and reviewed former OSHA air sampling, results, citations issued, and corporate abatement programs. Interviews were conducted with corporate health personnel, labor representatives, and randomly selected employees. A walk-through survey revealed large accumulations of lead dust at the sintering and blast furnace sites. Equipment breakdown and housekeeping problems were common, but procedural changes were frequently made to improve production and reduce health and safety hazards. Workers appeared to be informed about lead hazards, they avoided dust concentrations, ate in areas separate from work processes, and wore respirators. Air samples for lead exceeded proposed OSHA standards of 100 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) and were highest in the sinter, blast furnace and baghouse sites. Many average air lead concentrations exceeded the present standard of 200ug/m3. A review of the medical monitoring program indicated that all 600 workers were examined every 2 to 3 months and all workers with over 80 micrograms percent of lead were transferred to the yards. The transfer rate in the first half of 1977 ranged from 33 to 38 out of 80 yard workers. Chelation therapy was practiced only when withdrawal from exposure failed to restore normal blood lead concentrations. Recommendations were made to continue the medical monitoring program, make medical records accessible to employees, and instruct employees about chelation therapy, lead toxicity, and beneficial personal hygienic practices.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-77-87-440; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Lead-smelting-and-refining; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-7; Blood-chemistry; Metallic-poisons; Control-methods; Heavy-metals; Medical-monitoring; Humans; Health-surveys; Industrial-health-programs; Author Keywords: Lead; Blood Lead Levels; Chelation Therapy
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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