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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-80-212-1474, Pacific Gas And Electric Company, San Francisco, California.

Pryor PD; Coye MJ
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 80-212-1474, 1984 Jun; :1-37
Worker exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) during electrical repair field operations (SIC-4911) in San Francisco, California were surveyed from September, 1980 to February, 1982. The evaluation was requested by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, on behalf of about 5000 service personnel involved in the inspection and maintenance of electrical devices. Personal and area air samples, bulk dust samples, and skin and work surface wipe samples were collected for PCB analysis. Fifteen workers completed medical questionnaires and gave blood samples for serum PCB determination. The only significant exposures to PCB occurred during depot/receiving yard activities where PCB vapor or dust concentrations reached 200,000 micrograms. All personal, area and wipe samples were below the 0.05 microgram limit of detection. Eleven workers had serum PCB values greater than 30 parts per billion. No chloracne, liver abnormalities, or neurological disorders were found. The authors conclude that a PCB hazard may exist for depot/receiving yard workers. They recommend the use of respiratory protection, periodic exposure monitoring, preplacement medical evaluations and periodic examinations, improved workplace sanitation, worker education and training about the handling of PCBs and attention to the potentials for and problems associated with exposures to PCB contaminants.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Power-generation; Region-9; Electrical-equipment; Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Exposure-levels; Air-samples; Dust-analysis; Blood-samples; HETA-80-212-1474; Author Keywords: Electric Services [Electric Power Distribution]; Polychlorinated Biphenyls; PCBs; Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins; PCDDs; Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans; PCDFs; Transformers; Capacitors; Switches; Repair; Overhaul; Removal; Receiving Depot; Linemen; Equipment Operator; Cable Splicer; Electrician; Current Limiting Fuses; Emergency Spills and Clean-Ups
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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: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division