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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-80-036-922, Lithium Corporation of America, Bessemer City, North Carolina.
Salisbury SA; Keenlyside RA
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 80-036-922, 1981 Jul; :1-20
Worker exposures to lithium (7439932) compounds, free silica (7631869), and n-hexane were surveyed on February 4 to 7 and August 25 to 27, 1980 at the Lithium Corporation of America (SIC-2819) in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The evaluation was requested by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Local 3-802, on behalf on an unspecified number of workers. Personal and area air samples were collected, and workers completed health questionnaires and provided blood samples for lithium analysis. Two personal samples from the lithium grinding room and one from the packing room exceed the OSHA 15 milligram per cubic meter (mg/cu m) standard for total dust. Lithium exposure was greatest in the lithium-carbonate (554132) grinding room. Lithium-hydroxide (1310652) exposures ranged up to 171mg/cu m. All n-hexane and silica concentrations were below the respective OSHA standards of 500 parts per million and 10mg/cu m divided by the percentage of quartz plus 2. All but two blood samples contained no detectable lithium; the two samples contained lithium concentrations below the therapeutic effect threshold of 2.8 to 8.3 milligrams per liter. Workers exposed to lithium-hydroxide and lithium-carbonate reported a significant prevalence of upper respiratory tract and skin irritations. The authors conclude that workers are exposed to excessive amounts of lithium-carbonate dusts as nuisance dust. Several engineering and personal protective control measures are recommended.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-80-036-922; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-4; Mineral-dusts; Workplace-studies; Air-sampling; Air-quality-measurement; Air-quality-control; Health-surveys; Pulmonary-system; Clinical-symptoms; Author Keywords: lithium; silica; alkaline dusts; hexane; respiratory irritation; blood lithium levels
7439-93-2; 7631-86-9; 554-13-2; 1310-65-2
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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