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HHE determination report no. HHE-75-79-331, Health Engineering Company, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Gunter BJ; Hatch L
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 75-79-331, 1976 Sep; :1-25
A health hazard evaluation was conducted at Heath Engineering Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, in May and June of 1975, and January, 1976. The company produced flame cutting machines, fabricated materials from steel parts for electrical scanning components, and welded, soldered, and painted products. Area room samples collected during a preliminary study were analyzed for isopropanol (67630), methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), toluene (108883), and methyl-isobutyl-ketone (108101) (MIBK). Breathing zone samples were analyzed for iron-oxide (1309371) fumes, lead (7439921), and cadmium (7440439). Medical questionnaires were distributed. Blood and urine samples were randomly collected. The concentrations of toluene in the painting rooms ranged from 1 to 391 parts per million (ppm) which exceeded the OSHA criteria of 100ppm during an 8 hour exposure. Lead and cadmium samples were below detection limits. Iron-oxide fumes ranged from 0.2 to 13.3 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3); two out of ten samples grossly exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists criteria of 5.0mg/m3. Environmental values for isopropanol, MEK, lead, and iron-oxide fumes were below the criteria when measured 1 year later. Urine tests were in the normal range and only one worker had a blood lead content that was high. Complaints indicated burning, itching, or tearing of the eyes as the most common symptoms of exposure. Medical findings were consistent with overexposure due to toluene, MEK, and MIBK. Recommendations include proper use of spray paint booths, use of respirators in poorly ventilated paint facilities, preplacement and periodic medical examinations of all workers, a log of work performed on a shift basis, and engineering changes to eliminate the practice of hand dipping metal parts in solvents.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Electronics-industry; Region-8; Toxic-vapors; Irritant-gases; Air-quality-measurement; Exposure-levels; Employee-exposure; HHE-75-79-331; Author Keywords: toluene; cadmium; iron oxide fumes; isopropanol; methyl ethyl ketone; MEK; methyl isobutyl ketone; MIBK; dermatitis
67-63-0; 78-93-3; 108-88-3; 108-10-1; 1309-37-1; 7439-92-1; 7440-43-9
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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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