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Technical Assistance Report No. TA-80-083-879, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Jannerfeldt E; Ruhe RL
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 80-083-879, 1981 May; :1-7
Worker exposures to metals and extractable organics were surveyed at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission's Western Branch Sewage Treatment Facility (SIC-4953) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in July, 1980 and March, 1981. An unidentified individual requested the evaluation after three workers developed severe respiratory symptoms after exposure to incinerated sewage sludge ash. A medical questionnaire was administered to all employees in the incinerator department. Aluminum (7429905), calcium (7440702), iron (7439896), and magnesium (7439954) were the only metals present in bulk samples in concentrations greater than 1 percent. No organics except the solvent used in the extraction procedure were detected. Airborne concentrations of aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, nitrogen- dioxide (10102440), nitrous fumes, and carbon-monoxide (630080) were below recommended limits. None of the 12 workers completing the medical questionnaire reported respiratory symptoms or other work related health problems. No cause for the respiratory symptoms reported by the three affected workers was determined. The authors suggest that the symptoms may have resulted from high exposures to ash during maintenance performed on the ash collecting system. The authors conclude that a health hazard did not exist at the time of the surveys. They recommended the use of a vacuum system for the ash transport system, use of specially trained personnel for maintenance procedures entailing ash exposure, and monitoring of sludge and ash to facilitate detection of hazardous substances.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-80-083-879; Region-3; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Sewage-industry; Health-surveys; Combustion-products; Waste-disposal; Pulmonary-system-disorders
7429-90-5; 7440-70-2; 7439-89-6; 7439-95-4; 10102-44-0; 630-08-0
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
MD; DC; OH
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Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division