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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-336-1237, Plumbers and Gasfitters Local Union 12, Boston, Massachusetts.
Baker EL; Smith TJ
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 81-336-1237, 1982 Dec; :1-17
The health effects of exposure to polyvinyl-chloride (9002862) (PVC) pipe cleaners and cements were investigated during June through September, 1981. The Plumbers and Gasfitters (SIC-1711) Local Union 12, Boston, Massachusetts, requested the survey for its members. Environmental air samples were collected at three worksites; nine workers underwent medical evaluations. A medical and occupational survey was mailed to 740 plumbers. Work site concentrations of methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933), tetrahydrofuran (109999), cyclohexanone (108941), and dimethyl-formamide (68122) were below NIOSH standards of 590, 590, 100, and 30 milligrams per cubic meter, respectively. A calculated combined exposure index indicated that one of the nine workers was exposed to excess solvent vapors. The nine plumbers examined as well as the 353 who responded to the mailed survey reported symptoms of dizziness, headache, eye and skin irritation, and numbness in the fingers. Physical examinations did not reveal any abnormal findings. The authors conclude that no solvent exposure hazards seem to exist for plumbers exposed to PVC pipe cements and cleaners. The workers' symptoms cannot be conclusively related to any workplace exposures. They recommend methods for prevention of skin contact with PVC compounds and lung absorption of solvent vapors.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Medical-surveys; Plumbers; Gas-welders; Dermatitis; Author Keywords: Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning; PVC Pipe Cement; Methyl Ethyl Ketone; Tetrahydrofuran; Cyclohexanone; Dimethyl Formamide; Neurobehavioral Tests; Headache; Dizziness; Nausea; Ear Irritation; Nose Irritation; Throat Irritation; Skin Irritation
9002-86-2; 78-93-3; 109-99-9; 108-94-1; 68-12-2
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