NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Technical Assistance Report No. TA-78-058-864, Texas Boot Company, Hartsville, Tennessee.

Authors
White GL; Thoburn TW; Colligan MJ
Source
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 78-058-864, 1981 Apr; :1-33
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
00116483
Abstract
Environmental and personal samples were analyzed for benzene (71432), cellosolve (110805), n-butyl-acetate (123864), methyl-ethyl- ketone (78933), isopropyl-alcohol (67630), and petroleum-naphtha (8030306), at the Texas Boot Company (SIC-3149) in Hartsville, Tennessee, during August and October, 1978 to ascertain the causes of an epidemic of dizziness, nausea, and fainting among employees. The evaluation was requested by the Tennessee Division of Occupational Safety and Health on behalf of approximately 501 employees. Medical interviews and psychological tests were administered to the workers. One personal sample for benzene and one for petroleum-naphtha exceeded the respective OSHA standards of 3.2 and 350 milligrams per cubic meter. All other exposures were within acceptable limits. Most reported medical symptoms were consistent with the hyperventilation syndrome which usually results from anxiety. The psychological evaluation suggested a relationship between life and job stresses and symptom outbreak. The greatest source of stress appeared to involve the physical aspects of pressure and unwanted overtime, and were consistent with previous reports of mass illness with apparent psychogenic components. Review of the epidemic suggested that the outbreak was precipitated by the odor of mercaptans when a new tank was added to the gas lines. Other contributing factors included other unfamiliar odors and organic solvent vapors, noise, crowding, poor illumination, inadequate ventilation, air pollution, improper work practices, media publicity, and possibly job and familial stress. The authors conclude that the epidemic of dizziness, nausea, and fainting at this facility was due to the environmental and psychological factors. They recommend the exercise of good personal hygiene, the development of a health and safety program, and control measures to minimize adverse chemical exposures.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-78-058-864; Region-4; Hazards-Confirmed; Health-surveys; Industrial-hygiene; Air-sampling; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-stress; Psychological-factors
CAS No.
71-43-2; 110-80-5; 123-86-4; 78-93-3; 67-63-0; 8030-30-6
Publication Date
19810401
Document Type
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
1981
NTIS Accession No.
PB82-215369
NTIS Price
A04
Identifying No.
TA-78-058-864
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Priority Area
Psychologic Disorders; Psychological-disorders
SIC Code
3149
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
TN; OH
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division