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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-134-1079, Metropolitan Sewer District, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Johnson PL; Horan J
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 81-134-1079, 1982 Mar; :1-9
Exposures emitted from a building during decant operations at the Metropolitan Sewer District (SIC-4952), Cincinnati, Ohio were investigated. Council 8 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees requested the study after one of ten employees complained of stomach illness and occasional breathing difficulties while working inside of the decant tank. The study was conducted on March 4, 1981. Work exposures were measured and employees were interviewed for medical background. Benzene (71432) was found at 2 to 3 parts per million (ppm) compared to an OSHA standard of 10ppm. Carbon-dioxide (124389) was found at 150ppm compared to an OSHA standard of 5000ppm. Employees reported symptoms of nausea and irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes. In several cases symptoms occurred after a brief period in the decant tank. The authors note that the atmospheric quality inside the tank varies from day to day. Therefore, the authors conclude that exposures should be considered potentially hazardous. Recommendations to abate safety hazards are provided including the implementation of an education program and changes in work procedures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Sanitation-engineering; Confined-spaces; Toxic-gases; HETA-81-134-1079; Region-5; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Sewage treatment plant; decant tank; hydrogen; sulfide; sulfur dioxide; benzene; nausea; irritation of the eyes and mucous memebranes
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division