Survey of Premium Finishes, Incorporated, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Worker exposures to organic vapors were determined at Premium Finishes, Incorporated (SIC-2851) in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 24 and 25, 1973, to determine the relationship between vapor exposure and the incidence of employee peripheral neuropathy. The survey was part of a NIOSH study of the health effects of occupational methyl- butyl-ketone (591786) (MBK). About 11 of the employees at the facility were assigned to the production area surveyed. The company had no formal safety and industrial hygiene program. Medical services were furnished by a local clinic. Physical and neurological examinations of eight production workers revealed abnormalities on either electromyogram or nerve conduction velocity testing or both in five of the workers. Three of the five had non- occupational abnormalities. Two MBK samples of 1,389 and 1,636 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/cu m), respectively, from the roller mill operations area exceeded the OSHA standard of 410mg/cu m. The OSHA time weighted standard of 1.00mg/cu m for multiple organic vapor exposures was also exceeded in the roller mill operations area. The author concludes that a potential danger exists from continued exposure to organic vapors for workers in this facility, and these conditions are compounded by poor industrial hygiene practices by some of the workers. He recommends the implementation of a medical surveillance program, medical monitoring of certain personnel, use of respirators when appropriate, upgrading of ventilation systems, use of personal protective equipment, and observance of several other hygienic practices.
NIOSH, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, Environmental Investigations Branch, Cincinnati, Ohio, 38 pages, 8 references