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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-030-1102, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Brockton, 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, HETA 81-030-1102, 1982 Apr; :1-10
An apparent excess incidence of gastrointestinal illness among construction workers at the Wastewater Treatment facility (SIC- 1623), Brockton, Massachusetts, was investigated. The survey was requested by Local 721 of the Construction and General Laborers Union and was performed on December 9, 1980 and July 15, 1981. During the summer about 80 workers were on site. Sampling was conducted for volatile organic compounds, hydrogen-sulfide (7783064), sulfur-dioxide (7446095), dimethyl-sulfide (75183), and ammonia (7664417). Employees were interviewed as to history and symptoms and selected medical records were examined. Toluene (108883) and xylene (1330207) were found during environmental sampling but in amounts well below NIOSH standards of 375 and 434 milligrams per cubic meter, respectively. Symptoms included stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Symptoms were most frequent during the first summer working at the site. No specific etiology in the medical records was observed, and no specific microbial agents were identified. The authors conclude that a chemical agent was not responsible for the employees' complaints and suggest that symptoms are likely due to exposure to a variety of microorganisms. Recommendations are made to reduce symptoms.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Worker-health; Water-purification; Bacterial-infections; Biohazards; Microbiology; HETA-81-030-1102; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-1; Author Keywords: Heavy Construction; Water, Sewer, Pipe line, communication and power line Construction; waste water; sewage water; aerosol; microorganism; bacteria; virus; stomach cramps; diarrhea; gastrointestinal symptoms
7783-06-4; 7446-09-5; 75-18-3; 7664-41-7; 108-88-3; 1330-20-7
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