Survey of Burlington Industries, Inc., Burlington House Finishing Plant, Form Fabrics Plant, Durham Domestics Plant, Brookneal Finishing Plant.
Worker exposures to textile processing chemicals, particularly bis- chloromethyl ether (542881) (BCME), were evaluated at the Burlington, Greensboro, Durham, and Brookneal facilities of Burlington Industries, Incorporated, (SIC-2221) from November 6 to 8 and December 3 to 4, 1974. Eighty-five area and personal samples were collected from the 4 facilities during the first survey and 31 additional samples were collected from the Burlington and Durham facilities for independent analysis. Approximately 2,710 persons were employed by these facilities. Medical provisions included full- time nurses, trained first-aid personnel, preemployment physical examinations, and some spirometric and blood tests. An industrial hygienist and two part-time chemists periodically conducted hygienic surveys. The facilities were properly ventilated and had a slight negative pressure as a result of heat and moisture removal from the finishing rooms. Six samples taken during the initial survey were positive for BCME and two were below the level of detection (LOD). The samples were taken from the starch room, padding area, roof stack, and tenter entries. The follow-up samples from the Durham and Burlington facilities were below the LOD or contained only minimal amounts of BCME. The authors conclude that BCME is present in area and personal samples from the textile finishing areas. They recommend that a substitute catalyst and resins free of formaldehyde be used in processing textiles, sputum examinations be conducted for employees working in high risk areas, intake and outtake ventilation be widely separated, and hygienic practices be upgraded.
NIOSH, Environmental Investigations Branch, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, 22 pages, 19 references