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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-408-1389, U.S. Forest Service, Dillon District, Frisco, Colorado.

Thorburn TW; Gunter BJ
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 83-408-1389, 1983 Nov; :1-11
The cause of a skin rash experienced by 2 US Forest Service (SIC- Colorado. The evaluation was requested by an unspecified Forest Service worker from the Dillon District Office on behalf of two workers who developed a rash after removing a plastic cover from wood piles that had been sprayed with ethylene-dibromide (106934) (EDB) to destroy pine beetles. Condensate, plastic, and wipe samples from the wet under side of the plastic were collected for EDB analysis along with samples of pine bark. The two affected workers were interviewed and examined. EDB concentrations in the condensate ranged from 0.5 to 4.71 micrograms, while those in the plastic ranged from 117.86 to 558 micrograms. No EDB was found in the wipe samples. The OSHA standard for EDB is 20 parts per million (ppm) for an 8 hour time weighted average. Pine bark samples sprayed about 1 month earlier contained up to 16ppm of EDB, and bark sprayed about 1 year earlier contained 0.013 and 0.056ppm of EDB. The first worker reported a rash on the sides of his chest and abdomen that became red from scratching. The second worker developed a purple rash on his arms, back, abdomen, and legs, with blisters also appearing on his legs. Steroid treatment was effective. The authors conclude that the rashes affecting both workers are consistent with EDB exposure. The residual EDB in the condensate, plastic, and bark presents a potential health hazard to heavily exposed and sensitive individuals. The authors recommend that workers use protective clothing and gear, sprayed wood be clearly identified, clear instructions for handling be given to people who purchase the wood, and the plastic covers be removed from the wood and properly disposed of well before the time that the wood is put up for sale.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Forestry; Region-8; Pesticide-residues; Skin-irritants; Occupational-dermatitis; HETA-83-408-1389; Author Keywords: Forestry Services/Pest Control; Ethylene Dibromide; EDB; Pine Beetle; Fumigation
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: December 28, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division