HHE Determination, Report No. HHE-80-41-730, Alaska Husky Battery Inc. Anchorage, Alaska.
Environmental and medical surveys were conducted on January 7 and 10, 1980, to evaluate lead (7439921) exposure among employees engaged in the manufacture of lead acid storage batteries at Alaska Husky Battery, Incorporated (SIC-3691) in Anchorage, Alaska. The evaluation was requested by the owner on behalf of the seven affected workers. Blood lead concentrations ranged from 41 to 75 micrograms per deciliter measured at the NIOSH laboratory, and from 39 to 69 micrograms per deciliter measured at a NIOSH contract laboratory exceeding the recommended limit of 40 micrograms per deciliter. Free erythrocyte protoporphyrin concentrations from 2,000 to 11,100 micrograms per liter of red blood cells were well above the normal range of 220 to 870. The 8 hour time weighted average breathing zone air lead on concentrations ranged from 41 to 1,700 (1,700) micrograms per cubic meter. Six of the eight samples exceeded the OSHA standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter. The four greatest concentrations occurred during the casting operation. The author concludes that employees are exposed to hazardous concentrations of lead dust and fume. He recommends that engineering controls and better work practices be implemented, that appropriate respirators be used, that each work area be vacuumed or washed on a regular basis, that no food, drinks, or cigarettes be consumed in the work area, that a changing room be provided, that protective gloves be used by workers handling the paste, and that blood lead concentrations be monitored monthly.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 pages, 10 references