HHE Report No. HHE-79-156-899, Gulf-Wandes Corporation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Personal air samples were analyzed for styrene (100425), methyl- ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), tetrahydrofuran (109999) (THF), dimethylaniline (1300738) (DMA), acetone (67641), methylene-chloride (75092), benzoyl-peroxide (94360) (BPO), and fibrous-glass, at the Gulf-Wandes Corporation (SIC-2881), in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on April 22, 1980. Medical questionnaires were also administered to 54 production workers. A representative of the oil, chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Local 4-620, requested the evaluation on behalf of approximately 54 affected workers. Styrene concentrations ranged from 16 to 150 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/cu m), MEK samples ranged from 1 to 9mg/cum, THF ranged from 1 to 10mg/cum, and DMA concentrations ranged from 0.00 to 2mg/cum. Concentrations of acetone were in the 23 to 183mg/cum range. Methylene-chloride concentrations were below the limits of detection, except for one sample which measured 59mg/cu m. BPO samples were all below the limits of detection and fibrous glass concentrations ranged from samples exceeded the OSHA standards of 420, 590, 590, 18, 2400, 17500, and 5mg/cum, for styrene, MEK, THF, DMA, acetone, methylene- chloride, BPO, respectively. Fibrous glass concentrations did not exceed the NIOSH recommended standard of 3f/cum. Four of the workers reported symptoms consistent with urinary tract infection. None of the currently employed female workers had experienced miscarriages or menstrual problems since starting work. Forty four of the 54 employees reported one or more work related symptoms, the most common being nausea and eye and upper respiratory tract infection. The authors conclude that a chemical exposure hazard did not exist at this facility. They recommend the use of personal protective equipment by production workers and the use of closed containers for dispensing solvents.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 17 pages, 14 references