Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-240-1031, Metropolitan Sewer Districe, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Environmental air samples were analyzed for organic vapors at the Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (SIC-4952) and in sewer airspaces in Mill Creek Valley, in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 25 and 26, and June 15, 17, and 23, 1981. An unidentified individual requested the evaluation on behalf of an unspecified number of workers. Contaminants identified at the bar screen area of the treatment facility included toluene (108883), xylene (1330207), aliphatic naphtha (8030306), perchloroethylene (127184), chlorobenzene (108907), o-chlorotoluene (95498), dichlorobenzene (25321226) and trichlorobenzene (50317). Trichlorobenzene concentrations ranged from zero to 1267 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/CuM). Dichlorobenzene ranged from zero to 7.5mg/CuM, compared with the OSHA standard of 450mg/CuM. o-Chlorotoluene ranged from zero to 5.8mg/CuM, compared with the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists standard of 250mg/CuM. Chlorobenzene, perchloroethylene, and xylene concentrations ranged from zero to 7.8mg/CuM, nondetectable to 8.5mg/CuM, and zero to 62mg/CuM, below the OSHA standards of 350mg/CuM, 680mg/CuM, and 435mg/CuM, respectively. Aromatic naphtha concentrations ranged from zero to 630mg/CuM, and aliphatic naphtha ranged from zero to 152mg/CuM, compared to the NIOSH standard of 350mg/CuM. Toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethylene, and hexane (110543) concentrations ranged from zero to 286mg/CuM, zero to 20mg/CuM, and zero to 39,600mg/CuM, compared with the OSHA standards of 750mg/CuM, 1900mg/CuM, and 180mg/CuM, respectively. The author concludes that a danger to public safety and workers existed at this facility and recommends several measures to protect the health and safety of sewer workers, including the use of supplied air escape type respirators, the use of appropriate air testing equipment prior to entering sewers, and a worker education program.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 44 pages, 1 references