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Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-77-36-540, Asarco, Incorporated, Tacoma Plant, Ruston, Washington, 1978.

Apol AG; Singal M
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 77-36-540, 1978 Nov; :1-25
Samples of lead (7439921) (Pb), copper (7440508) (Cu), cadmium (7440439) (CA), arsenic (7440382) (As), sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2), dimethylaniline (127195) (DMA), selenium (7782492) (Se), nickel (7440020) (Ni), and silver (7440224) (Ag) were analyzed and blood samples were tested for lead and free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) at the copper smelter and refinery of ASARCO, Inc. (SIC-3325) in Tacoma, Washington in November 1977. An employee representative of the United Steel Workers Local 25, Tacoma, Washington requested toxicity determination on behalf of approximately 135 affected workers. Hematocrits ranged from 42 to 51 percent. Blood lead concentrations ranged from 16 to 41 micrograms per deciliter. Only one worker had an abnormally high FEP value of 197. In the roaster area, 37 of 44 time weighted average (TWA) As samples exceeded the OSHA criterion of 0.01 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) and 3 of 36 TWA Cu samples exceeded the OSHA criterion of 1mg/m3. Seventeen of 21 As samples from the reverberatory furnace, 20 of 20 from the convertor area, and 3 of 7 from the slimes house also exceeded the OSHA standard. Six of 36 Pb samples from the convertor area and 1 of 2 from the slimes house also exceeded the OSHA criterion of 0.2mg/m3. In the sulfur dioxide area, 2 of 2 As samples and 1 of 2 Pb samples exceeded the respective OSHA standard. The authors recommend that worker exposures to toxic substance be reduced below the OSHa criteria, and that appropriate NIOSH approved respirators be used. The action level for blood lead concentrations should be reduced from 80 to 40 micrograms per deciliter.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Primary-smelting; Copper-refining; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-10; Metal-workers; Smelters; Health-survey; Air-sampling; Medical-monitoring; Medical-screening; Author Keywords: Arsenic; Peripheral Neuropathies; Lung Cancer; Copper Smelter; Refinery
7439-92-1; 7440-50-8; 7440-43-9; 7440-38-2; 7446-09-5; 127-19-5; 7782-49-2; 7440-02-0; 7440-22-4
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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