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HHE determination report no. HHE-72-77-109, Ashland Oil Incorporated, Catlettsburg, Kentucky.

Vandervort R; Lucas JB
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 72-77-109, 1974 Feb; :1-19
An environmental hygiene and health survey was undertaken in the asphalt department of Ashland Oil, Incorporated (SIC-2911), Catlettsburg, Kentucky in October, 1972 and August, 1973. The evaluation was requested by an employee representative to evaluate exposures to flaked and molten petroleum-pitch (61789604). Environmental air sampling was performed and petroleum-pitch was analyzed using gas chromatography. Medical examinations of exposed employees were also performed. It was found that workers were intermittently exposed to vapors from molten petroleum-pitch and particles of the solidified product. Chromatographic analysis of samples from the working area showed phenanthrene (85018), pyrene (129000), benzo(a)pyrene (50328), benzo(e)pyrene (192972), 1,12- benzoperylene (191242), and anthanthrene (191264). Airborne concentrations of benzene soluble material were near or below the OSHA standard of 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter. Average length of employment of the 11 workers interviewed and examined was 12.6 years. Two workers had little exposure to petroleum-pitch. Seven of the nine workers with significant exposures reported past episodes of phototoxicity including skin discomfort, redness, and peeling resembling exaggerated sunburn responses on exposed skin surfaces. Six workers also complained of eye and upper respiratory tract irritation. Incidental findings included fungus infection, actinic keratosis, and hyperkeratotic lesions on the hand. Members of the study team also experienced skin discomfort following exposure at the work site. The authors conclude that the petroleum-pitch contained known photosensitizers which produced phototoxic reactions. Recommendations are made which would decrease dust generation and worker exposure to pitch particles. Use of a sun screen product is also suggested. Repeated and prolonged phototoxic injury to the skin may increase the danger of developing more serious skin diseases.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Clinical-symptoms; Chromatographic-analysis; Workplace-studies; Employee-exposure; HHE-72-77-109; Region-4
61789-60-4; 85-01-8; 129-00-0; 50-32-8; 192-97-2; 191-24-2; 191-26-4
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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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