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Industrial hygiene survey report in support of epidemiologic study of RF heat sealer operators at National Blank Book Company, Inc., Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Cox C; Conover D
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 88-25b, 1981 Feb; :1-34
Exposure to hydrocarbons and radiofrequency (RF) radiation was measured at the National Blank Book Company (SIC-2648) in Holyoke, Mass. in February 11 to 13, 1980. Heat sealer operators exposed to RF radiation were evaluated, and their general exposures were determined to identify a control group for a cohort study of reproductive effects of RF radiation on exposed female workers, and to determine worker exposure to other agents. Forty of the 50 operators who worked in the heat sealing area during three shifts were White females. Eighteen of the 24 heat sealers were located in a grounded wire mesh enclosed room. The other were in various other departments. Heat sealer operators were exposed to geometric mean electric and magnetic field strengths of 64.1 (V/m) volts per meter and 0.03 amperes per meter (A/m), respectively. Thirteen of the 30 operators were exposed in excess of the current OSHA standard of 10 milliwatts per square centimeter. General concentrations of nine hydrocarbons ranged from 6 to 17 parts per million (ppm). Operators were exposed to hydrocarbons in the screen print area ranging from 14.6 to 101.4 percent of the composite standard. The authors recommend selecting the female study cohort and the control group from various departments and job titles. RF radiation levels for all operators should be reduced to below 0.5 A/m for magnetic field strength and below 200 V/m for electric field strength and, if possible, further reduced below the NIOSH proposed standards of should be reduced to within safe limits by covering all containers, storing unused chemicals at a central location, minimizing skin contact, and installing local exhaust ventilation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Region-1; Radiation-exposure; Health-surveys; Aromatic-hydrocarbons; Worker-health; Air-sampling; Control-methods; Hazards
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Field Studies; Industry Wide
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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