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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-80-084-927, General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachusetts.
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 80-084-927, 1981 Jul; :1-14
Worker exposures to copper (7440508) were surveyed on April 2 and 22 to 24, 1980, and medical evaluations were performed in July and December, 1980, at the General Electric Company (SIC-3621) in Lynn, Massachusetts. The evaluation was requested by a representative of the International Union on Electrical Workers, Local 201, on behalf of 29 copper job workers. Air samples were collected for copper and silver (7440224) analysis, and workers were interviewed and given comprehensive medical examinations. Copper and silver concentrations in the air samples ranged from 0.1 to 0.683 and from compared to OSHA standards of 0.1mg/cu m for copper fume, 1.0mg/cu m for copper dusts and mists, and 0.01mg/cu m for silver. Most of the workers reported episodes of green discoloration of the skin and itching. All plasma copper concentrations were normal, and only one urinary copper concentration exceeded the normal limit. Blood chemistry was normal, and the few abnormalities of liver function seen could not be conclusively related to workplace exposures. The author concludes that copper exposure at this company has caused dermatologic problems among the workers. Recommendations are included for engineering and work practice improvements and discontinuance of the use of barrier creams.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-80-084-927; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-1; Metallic-dusts; Metallic-poisons; Industrial-factory-workers; Air-contamination; Health-surveys; Skin-disorders; Skin-exposure; Occupational-health-programs; Author Keywords: copper; green skin; dermititis
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