HHE Report, No. HETA-81-439-1256, Robinson-Nugent, Inc., New Albany, Indiana.
Complaints of menstrual disorders were investigated on August 31 and September 1, 1981 at the Electroplating Department of Robinson Nugent, Inc. (SIC-3471), New Albany, Indiana. Evaluation was requested by the United Auto Workers, Local 1708, and the company's Manager of Human Resources for 12 female electroplating and quality control employees. Personal and area air samples were analyzed for a variety of metals and vapor fumes. Medical questionnaires were given to the affected women and to 29 unexposed comparisons. Exposures to nickel (7440020), lead (7439921), hydrogen-cyanide (74908), hydrogen-fluoride (7664393), sodium-hydroxide (7440020), phosphoric-acid (7664382), and sulfuric-acid (7664939) were below respective NIOSH limits of 0.015, 0.05, 5.0, 5.0, 2.0, 1.0, and 1.0 milligrams per cubic meter. Ventilation in the degreasing area was insufficient; protective clothing was not used. Menstrual disorders were reported by 83 percent of the exposed women and 52 percent of the comparisons. Reproductive histories were similar for both groups. Exposed women also reported symptoms of dermatitis, headache, and eye irritation. The authors conclude that no hazardous exposures exist. They recommend use of protective clothing and creams, improved hygiene and work practices, increased ventilation, and environmental monitoring.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 25 pages, 15 references