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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-79-17-751, RMI Metals Reduction Plant, Ashtabula, Ohio.

Moseley C; Garabrant D; Fine L
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-79-17-751, 1980 Oct; :1-24
Environmental and personal air samples were analyzed for titanium (7440326), titanium-tetrachloride (7550450), hydrochloric-acid (7647010), welding fumes, asbestos (1332214), and nuisance particles at RMI Metals Reduction Facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, on January 8 to 9 and June 15 to 28, 1979. A representative of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union requested the evaluation on behalf of 209 workers. Medical examinations, chest X-Rays, and pulmonary function tests were administered to the workers. With the exception of one total particulate and two respirable particulate samples, titanium concentrations were below the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommended standards of 10 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/CuM) for total particulates and 5 mg/CuM for respirable particulates. Three samples that exceeded recommended exposure criteria were 11.6 mg/CuM total nuisance dust, and 6.6 and 7.0 mg/CuM respirable nuisance particulates. Samples for welding fumes and hydrochloric-acid were below OSHA standards of 7mg/CuM and 5mg/CuM, respectively. Airborne asbestos was not detected. The medical study revealed extensive pleural thickening in 16 percent of the 58 nonproduction workers and was most prevalent among those who worked at the company for at least 10 years. Limited pleural thickening was found in 14 percent of the 151 production workers employed between 1957 and 1968. Major pulmonary function changes were found among the titanium-tetrachloride reduction process workers who had restrictive pulmonary changes with a significant yearly loss of lung volume. The author concludes that a health hazard of pulmonary impairment exists.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-17-751; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-5; Worker-health; Health-surveys; Metal-dusts; Air-sampling; Medical-examinations; Air-contamination; Author Keywords: Titanium Sponge; Titanium; Titanium Tetrachloride; Asbestos; Welding Fumes; Pulmonary Disease; Pleural Thickening
7440-32-6; 7550-45-0; 7647-01-0; 1332-21-4
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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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