HHE report: HETA-81-288-1257, Arkansas General Industries, Bald Knob, Arkansas.
Exposures to 1,1,1-trichloroethane (71556) (TCE), lead (7439921) and a drester based lithium (7439932) grease (Vischem-352) were investigated on August 3 and 4, 1981 and November 7, 1981 at Arkansas General Industries (SIC-3621), Bald Knob, Arkansas. Evaluation was requested by the International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, Local 1146, for 500 production workers. Personal area air samples were collected; several employees were questioned about medical symptoms. No lead or lithium was detected in any air samples. TCE concentrations were below the NIOSH limit of 1910 milligrams per cubic meter of a 15 minute sample. Workers using Vischem-352 reported sinus congestion, headache, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and skin irritation. Installation of a new injection system for the grease resulted in fewer health complaints. The authors conclude that no hazards currently exist and that the previously reported health complaints appear to have been solved by using a new Vischem-352 injection system. They recommend that all component parts be dried before being brought to the final assembly area, gears be at room temperature before treatment with Vischem-352, and cooling fans be properly positioned.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 12 pages, 1 reference