HHE Report, No. HETA-80-020-1054, Cities Services Company, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Exposure to various chemicals at Cities Services lube facility (SIC- 2911) Lake Charles, Louisiana was investigated. Possible relationships between exposures and hematuria and bladder or kidney cancer were considered. The investigation was requested by the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union and was performed in June, November, and December, 1980. A total of 408 persons were employed as production workers. Air samples were analyzed and medical questionnaires and urine tests were collected. Seventy five percent of the air samples for beta-naphthylamine (91598), furfural (98011), phenol (108952), benzene (71432), total hydrocarbons, total and respirable particulates, cresols, naphthalene (91203), 1-methyl- naphthalene (90120), 2-methyl-naphthalene (91576), cyclohexane solubles, eight different polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines, hydrogen-sulfide (7783064), and mercaptans were below detection limits. Three of 19 samples for cyclohexane solubles exceeded the survey criteria of 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter. Exposed workers were more likely to experience ringing in the ears, eye irritation, muscle twitching, and higher urine phenol concentrations than unexposed workers. Operators had higher urine phenol concentrations than maintenance workers. All three workers with hematuria had high urine phenol concentrations. Ten of 18 workers had signs of asbestosis. The authors conclude that no hazardous exposure to airborne chemicals exist. They suggest that exposures to phenol and cresol occur through skin contact although no link between exposure and cancer could be established. Asbestosis occurred from past years. Recommendations for improved environmental controls and strengthening the medical surveillance program at the facility are provided.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 32 pages, 15 references