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HHE determination report no. HHE-77-66-531, Sucrets Department, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, West Point, Pennsylvania, October, 1979.
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 77-66-531, 1978 Oct; :1-56
Environmental and medical surveys were conducted on April 22, 1977, and October 11 to 13, 1977, to determine the cause of symptoms among employees at the Sucrets departments of Merck, Sharp and Dohme (SIC- 2834) in West Point, Pennsylvania. The evaluation was requested by an authorized employee representative on behalf of the approximately 99 affected employees. Employee interviews disclosed health complaints associated with exposure to 3-p-menthol (89781) (menthol). Physical examination revealed a large number of workers with inflamed throat and nasal passages. Menthol concentrations ranged from 0.0 to 39.4 milligrams per cubic meter, with the greatest concentrations occurring in the candy production and cooling rooms. Significant pulmonary function changes were found in pre- and post exposure testing. Symptomatic complaints were most prominent in workers who never smoked or who had quit smoking. The authors conclude that workers in the Sucrets department had health effects related to menthol exposure. They recommend that the ventilation system be expanded and upgraded, that respirators be used until the ventilation system is improved, and that the company institute a routine medical surveillance program.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-77-66-531; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Alcohols; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Medical-examinations; Pulmonary-function-tests; Respiratory-system-disorders; Toxic-dose; Air-flow; Author Keywords: menthol; irritation; pulmonary function
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