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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-78-132-818, Copper Division, Southwise Company, Inc., Carrollton, Georgia.

Kominsky JR
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 78-132-818, 1981 Feb; :1-53
A health hazard evaluation was conducted at the Copper Division of Southwire Company, Incorporated (SIC-3340) in Carrollton, Georgia on October 2 to 11, 1978. The evaluation was requested by an authorized employee representative to determine if employees were being exposed to toxic concentrations of chemicals. Personal and area air samples were monitored. Medical evaluations of 293 of the 300 employees included interviews, questionnaires, blood tests and neurological examinations. Lead (7439921) concentrations in 10 of 47 personal air samples exceeded the previous OSHA standard of 200 micrograms per cubic meter; 37 exceeded the new OSHA standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter. Copper (7440508) dusts in all 13 samples tested exceeded the OSHA standard of 1000 micrograms per cubic meter. Arsenic (7440382) concentrations in 2 of 10 samples tested exceeded the NIOSH recommended standard of 2 micrograms per cubic meter. Nickel (7440020) in 5 of 47 samples tested exceeded the NIOSH recommended standard of 15 micrograms per cubic meter. Cadmium (7440439) concentrations in 1 of 47 samples tested exceeded the NIOSH recommended standard of 40 micrograms per cubic meter. Medical evaluations revealed an increased prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, fatigue, hand tremor, joint pain, throat pain and respiratory symptoms in employees working in dusty areas. The observed increases in blood pressure, Achilles tendon reflex and blood lead, copper, or zinc were not associated with metal dust exposure. The authors conclude that a serious hazard exists due to exposure to airborne metallic dust. They recommend engineering methods for metallic dust control, use of fume respirators when necessary, use of special clothing, and improved work practices.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-78-132-818; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-4; Air-samples; Metal-workers; Worker-health; Health-surveys; Metal-dusts; Dust-exposure; Author Keywords: Secondary Smelting and Refining of Nonerrous Metals and Alloys; Lead; Copper; Nickel; Arsenic; Toxic
7439-92-1; 7440-50-8; 7440-38-2; 7440-02-0; 7440-43-9
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division