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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-069-1390, E. I. DuPont De Nemours And Company, LaPorte, Texas.

Cone J; Gorman RW
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 81-069-1390, 1983 Nov; :1-13
Worker exposures to compounds in activated sludge were investigated between January 1981 and August 1982 at DuPont de Nemours and Company (SIC-2869) in LaPorte, Texas. The evaluation was requested from Local 900, International Chemical Workers Union on behalf of an unspecified number of workers in the biopond, fluorspar drying and unloading, and Uracil operations concerned about frequent skin problems and one incident of sarcoidosis. Medical questionnaires and skin examinations were completed for a sample of workers, medical records were reviewed, and a lymphocyte blast transformation test was performed for the worker with sarcoidosis. Bulk fluorspar samples and personal air samples during fluorspar unloading were analyzed for beryllium (7440417). Company records on earlier fluorspar and beryllium sampling also were reviewed. Seven of 18 workers questioned reported a history of skin abscess or folliculitis of the hands. Two workers had folliculitis with pustular eruption of the time of this study. Skin cultures contained acinetobacter-lwoffi and yeast. The lymphocyte blast transformation test for the worker with sarcoidosis was negative. The fluorspar contained up to 300 parts per million of beryllium, with particle sizes ranging from 2.5 to 40 microns. The airborne beryllium concentration was 0.37 micrograms per cubic meter during unloading operations, compared to the OSHA limit of 2 micrograms per cubic meter. The operator was also wearing a disposable particulate respirator. The authors conclude that a possible association exists between work in the biopond areas and development of skin problems. The worker with sarcoidosis does not appear to have beryllium disease. The authors recommend improvements in work practices, environment and medical monitoring, and use of respirators.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Chemical-synthesis; Region-6; Plastics; Occupational-dermatitis; Skin-irritants; HETA-81-069-1390; Author Keywords: lndustrial Organic Chemicals; Skin Abscess; Fluorspar; Beryllium; Waste Water Treatment
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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