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Walk-through survey report on industrial hygiene and epidemiologic evaluation of potential cohort exposed to radiofrequency radiation from dielectric heat sealers, IWS Report No. 88-39.
Cox-C; Leet-T; Murray-B
NIOSH 1982 Jun; :1-34
A walkthrough survey was conducted at Travenol Laboratories (SIC- 2834), North Cove, North Carolina. The purpose of the survey was to determine whether any health effects were associated with occupational exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. In the manufacturing process, two or more polyvinyl-chloride (9002862) (PVC) components were joined by RF heat sealing to form the final product. Approximately 2600 employees work at the facility, including 330 workers in the RF heat sealing areas. The intensity of the electric and magnetic fields generated by 19 RF heat sealers was measured at the eyes, neck, waist, and knees of 35 operators. Only 2 of the 19 heat sealers generated field strengths in excess of the current OSHA standard of 0.25 ampere squared per meter squared (A2/m2). These sealers generated magnetic field strengths of 0.65 and 0.428A2/m2. The electric field measurements ranged from nondetectable to 20800 volts squared (V2) per m2. These were below the OSHA limit of 40000V2/m2. New employees received initial medical examinations, but annual checkups were not provided. A full time nurse was on duty for all shifts, and a physician was retained to arrange any necessary hospital care. The authors conclude that medical and personnel records at this facility are adequate for investigating reproductive effects of RF radiation. However, because most of the magnetic and electric field strengths are well below the OSHA standards, NIOSH is not selecting this group as part of the investigation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-study; Medical-equipment; Safety-research; Radiation-detectors; Occupational-exposure; Workplace-studies; IWS-88-39; Region-4
Field Studies; Industry Wide
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, IWS Report No. 88-39, 34 pages
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division