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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-247-958, Boehringer Ingelheim, LTD., Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 81-247-958, 1981 Sep; :1-12
Environmental air samples were analyzed at Boehringer Ingelheim Limited (SIC-2834), in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on April 6 and 7, 1981 to ascertain the cause of skin rashes among 15 employees medical interviews were also conducted with workers on April 6 and 16, 1981. The rashes developed after a change in chemicals in the water treatment for the steam generators. Diethylaminoethanol (100378) was identified as the only volatile component of the new water treatment. No diethylaminoethanol was detected in any air samples. Medical complaints consisted of burning and itching of the exposed skin with a red rash, dry throat, headache, chest tightness and high blood pressure. Skin examinations revealed an irritant type rash on the exposed areas of the face, neck, and hands suggestive of a phototoxic skin reaction. No pattern of systemic health problems could be verified among the exposed employees. The authors conclude that although the source of the skin rashes appeared to be the air handling system, no specific etiological agent could be identified. They suggest that a reaction product of diethylaminoethanol was probably responsible for the reported symptoms and recommend that an alternative method of boiler water treatment be substituted or that an alternative method of humidification be installed.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-81-247-958; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Skin-disorders; Health-surveys; Air-sampling; Industrial-hygiene; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: OEAE; Diethylaminoethanol; 2-methylaminoethanol; Steam humidification; Boiler water treatment; Skin irritation; Phototoxicity
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division