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Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-79-19-740, Radford Army Ammunition Plant Hercules Incorporated Radford, 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 79-19-740, 1980 Sep; :1-7
Environmental and medical surveys were conducted on February 6 to 23, 1979, and June 18, 1979, to investigate the reported increase in heart disease among workers at Radford Army Ammunition Facility (SIC- 3483) of Hercules Incorporated in Radford, Virginia. The evaluation was requested by an authorized representative from Local 3-495 of the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union on behalf of an unspecified number of employees. Ethyl-ether (60297) concentrations ranged from 90 to 712 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the OSHA standard of 400 ppm; nitroglycerin (55630) ranged from undetectable to 0.89 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), will within the OSHA standard of 2 mg/m3; lead (7439921) ranged from undectable to 0.063 mg/m3, exceeding the OSHA standard of 0.05 mg/m3; and coal tar pitch volatiles ranged from undetectable to 0.1 mg/m3, within the OSHA standard of 0.2 mg/m3. All other samples were below their respective standards. The medical interviews and record review revealed several cases of previously diagnosed asbestosis and heart disease. The author concludes that a potential health hazard existed as a result of employee exposure to ethyl ether, nitroglycerin, lead, and coal tar pitch volatiles. He recommends that an educational program be established, that employees be provided with daily changes of protective clothing, that the respirator program be reviewed, that general work practices be improved, that all exhaust systems be reevaluated and systems be periodically maintained, and that a standard operating procedure be established for all employees who handle asbestos.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-19-740; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Health-surveys; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Nitro-compounds; Mineral-pitch; Workplace-studies; Asbestos-dust; Safety-measures; Author Keywords: Ammunition, Except for Small Arms; Ethyl Ether; Nitroglycerin; Lead; Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
60-29-7; 55-63-0; 7439-92-1
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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