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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-159-1473, Seamless Hospital Products Company, Fayette, Alabama.
Williams-TM; Hickey-JL; Shy-CM
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 83-159-1473, 1984 Jun; :1-21
Worker exposures to solvents, plastic fumes and dust, and ethylene- oxide (75218) (EO), and consequent risks of cancer and miscarriages, were surveyed on November 9 and 10, 1983 at the Seamless Hospital Products Company plastics facility (SIC-5086) in Fayette, Alabama. The evaluation was requested by the United Rubber Workers International Union on behalf of 371 female production workers. Personal and area air samples were collected for total and respirable dust, nitrosamines, and EO. Available death certificates were reviewed, workers were questioned about possible health problems, and female employees completed a pregnancy questionnaire. Total and respirable dust concentrations were well below the respective OSHA limits of 15 and 5 milligrams per cubic meter. Measurable concentrations of benzene (71432) and EO were found. Both chemicals are suspected carcinogens and NIOSH recommends that exposures be kept as low as possible. Nitrosamines were not detected. Combined solvent vapor exposures did not exceed the threshold limit value index of 1. No pattern of work related health problems was reported by the workers, and incidences of cancer and miscarriages were not increased. The authors conclude that no increased risk of cancer or miscarriages due to work exposures exists at this company. They recommend increased ventilation, improved solvent dispensers, and further reduction of EO exposures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Plastics-industry; Region-4; Epoxides; Air-sampling; Exposure-levels; Threshold-limit-values; Solvent-vapors; HETA-83-159-1473; Author Keywords: ethylene oxide; organic solvents; plastics; miscarriages; cancer
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division