HHE Report No. HHE-80-244-992, Stauffer Chemical Company, Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Personal and bulk samples were analyzed for crystalline silica (7631869), respirable diatomaceous earth, and phosphoric-acid (7664382) at the Stauffer Chemical Company (SIC-2819), in Chicago Heights, Illinois, on October 3 and 9, 1980, and on May 7, 1981. A representative of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Local 7765, requested the evaluation on behalf of approximately 21 affected workers. Laboratory analysis of a rafter sample revealed that the workroom dust contained 3.7 percent quartz. Air concentrations of crystalline silica were below the NIOSH lower limit of quantitation, indicating no measurable worker exposure. The OSHA standard for crystalline silica is 10 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/CuM). Diatomaceous earth concentrations ranged from 0.29 to 0.91mg/CuM, compared with the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recommended threshold limit value of 1.5mg/CuM. Exposures to phosphoric-acid were below the OSHA standard of 1mg/CuM on an 8 hour time weighted average basis. Employee interviews revealed no significant symptomatology related to environmental exposures. The authors conclude that no health hazards from exposure to crystalline silica, diatomaceous earth, or phosphoric-acid existed at this facility. They recommend that the local exhaust ventilation systems be inspected routinely.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 9 pages, 7 references