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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-357-1321, Elkem Metals Company, Alloy, West Virginia.
Cherniack MG; Boiano JM
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 81-357-1321, 1983 Jul; :1-33
Adverse exposures and disease risks were investigated in December 1981 and July 1982 at Elkem Metals Company (SIC-3313), Alloy, West Virginia. Evaluation was requested by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Local 3-89. Air samples were collected to evaluate respirable particulates, silica (14808607), silicon (7440213), arsenic (7440382), and fly-ash. Insurance records were used for a Proportional Mortality Study of deaths between 1966 and 1980. Workers completed medical questionnaires and pulmonary function tests. Chest X-rays also were evaluated. The only hazardous exposure involved crystalline silica. Concentrations were below OSHA limits, but exceeded the action limit of 50 percent of the NIOSH standard (0.05 milligrams per cubic meter). Workers reported shortness of breath, cough, and conditions consistent with chronic bronchitis. Of 86 sets of chest X-rays, 3 confirmed and 1 suspected case of pneumoconiosis were identified. One case of asbestos plague was also found. Pulmonary function tests did not reveal significant numbers of job related impairments. Elevated mortality rates were identified for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cor pulmonale. The authors conclude that a crystalline silica exposure hazard exists. Workers are at risk of developing nonmalignant respiratory disease and chronic bronchitis. They recommend chest X- rays, environmental monitoring, and engineering controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Metal-industry; Safety-research; Occupational-exposure; Industrial-exposures; Health-hazards; Environmental-exposure; Carcinogens; Region-3; Author Keywords: Electrometallurgical Products; Silicon Metal and Alloys; Silicon Dioxide; Crystalline Silica; Amorphous Silica; Fly Ash; Arsenic; Pulmonary Function Tests; Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease; Chronic Bronchitis; Proportional Mortality Ratio
14808-60-7; 7440-21-3; 7440-38-2
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