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HHE determination report no. HHE-78-3-555, Warminster Fiberglass, Southhampton, Pennsylvania.
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 78-3-555, 1979 Jan; :1-23
Environmental surveys and employee interviews were conducted on November 14 and 15, 1977, and July 24 to 28, 1978, to evaluate complaints of irritating fumes causing eye, nose, throat, and skin irritations to fiberglass assemblers at Warminster Fiberglass (SIC- 3296) in Southhampton, Pennsylvania. The evaluation was requested by the employer on behalf of approximately 80 affected employees. Styrene (100425) concentrations during the initial survey ranged from 200 to 400 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the 100 ppm OSHA standard. Reported employee symptoms were consistent with symptoms caused by styrene overexposure. Methylethyl ketone peroxide (MEKO) concentrations ranged from none detected to 13 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), exceeding the 1.5mg/m3 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Value as measured during spray up fabrication. Peak levels of styrene exceeded the 600ppm OSHA standard for peak measurements in two instances. The 200ppm OSHA ceiling for 5 minute exposure was equalled in one sample. The author concludes that workers were exposed to potentially toxic concentrations of MEKO and styrene vapor and less significant concentrations of acetone vapors. The author recommends that one of the ventilation systems be improved, that the practice of removing dust using compressed air be discontinued and replaced with a vacuum system, and that two work stations be relocated so as to be directly in front of the exhaust hoods.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-78-3-555; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Vapors; Skin-exposure; Plastics; Air-contamination; Air-flow; Environmental-engineering; Author Keywords: organic vapors; methylethyl ketone peroxide; MEKO; polyester resin spray-up and lay-up processes; eye, nose, throat, and skin irritations
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