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Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-77-43-500, Shell Oil Refinery, Deer Park, Texas.
Wisseman-C; Xintaras-C; Hollett-B
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 77-43-500, 1978 Jun; :1-67
Medical surveys and environmental sampling were conducted to evaluate the association between methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK) and toluene (108883) exposure and the incidence of peripheral neuropathy in workers in the Lube B Dewaxing Unit at the Shell Oil Refinery (SIC-2911) in Deer Park, Texas. The evaluation was requested by an authorized employee representative of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, Local 4-367, and by the corporate medical director of Shell on behalf of an unspecified number of affected employees. Neuropathies were mild and were manifested more by discomfort than by functional impairment. Industrial hygiene data from OSHA and Shell did not reveal the presence of any known cause of peripheral neuropathies. MEK and toluene were generally found at concentrations below 20 parts per million. The authors conclude that a possible excess of mild peripheral neuropathy exists among employees in the Lube B Dewaxing Unit, that the cause of the observed neuropathies cannot be determined, that the prevalence of overt diabetes mellitus and elevated serum triglyceride is not excessive and that the prevalence of subclinical diabetes may be excessive. They recommend that exposure to MEK and toluene be minimized in view of their possible role in causing neuropathy.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-77-43-500; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Petroleum-refining; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-7; Air-contaminants; Air-sampling; Clinical-symptoms; Unions; Occupational-health-programs; Control-methods; Chemical-exposure; Humans; Author Keywords: Solvent-Extraction; High-Melting-Point Hydrocarbons; Petroleummethyl Ethyl Ketone; MEK; Toluene
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