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HHE determination report no. HHE-78-44-715, Kaiser Aluminum, and Chemical Corporation, Ravenswood, West Virginia.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 78-44-715, 1980 Jul; :1-26
Environmental and medical surveys and technological assessments were conducted on July 18 to 20, 1978, and April 3 to 5 and June 11 to 14, 1979, to update environmental conditions and evaluate the ventilation systems in the potrooms at the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation facility in Ravenswood, West Virginia (SIC- 3341). The evaluation was requested by a union safety and health committee member of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 5668, on behalf of the potroom employees. Personal and area air samples were obtained for determinations of coal-tar pitch (65996932) volatiles (CTPV), polynuclear-aromatic-hydrocarbons (PNA), total particulates, and fluorides. Indicator tube sampling was done for sulfur-dioxide (7446095), carbon-monoxide (630080), and hydrogen- fluoride (7664393). CTPV concentrations ranged from undetectable to of 0.20mg/m3; PNAs were present in 27 of 46 samples; total particulates ranged from 0.3 to 177.0 mg/m3, exceeding the OSHA standard of 150.0 mg/m3; sulfur-dioxide ranged from undetectable to over 25 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the OSHA standard of 5ppm. Medical questionnaires indicated that dust and off gases from the pots may have caused mucous membrane irritation. Ventilation assessment showed that the pothood system was well designed but that deficiencies in maintenance and housekeeping may have reduced its efficiency. The author concludes that potentially hazardous exposures to CTPV, total particulates, and sulfur dioxide existed for certain potroom workers. He recommends that ventilation maintenance be improved, that workers use respiratory protection when necessary, and that anode setters be studied for pot emission exposures.
NIOSH-Author; Health-surveys; Ventilation-systems; Aluminum-industry; HHE-78-44-715; Air-sampling; Industrial-hygiene; Workplace-studies; Safety-engineering; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Author Keywords: coal tar pitch volatiles; benzene solubles; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; total particulates; sulfur dioxide; potroom workers; respiratory irritation
65996-93-2; 7446-09-5; 630-08-0; 7664-39-3
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division