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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-433-1452, General Motors Corporation, Framingham, Massachusetts.
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 81-433-1452, 1984 May; :1-15
Worker complaints of numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers were investigated on August 18, 1981 at the General Motors factory (SIC-3535) in Framingham, Massachusetts. The evaluation was requested by the Millwright and Machinery Erectors of Massachusetts Local Union 1121, on behalf of 19 symptomatic workers. Air samples were collected to assay respirable dust, lead (7439921), cadmium (7440439), chromium (7440473), and manganese (7439965). Thirteen workers completed symptom questionnaires and were given neurological evaluations. Only one dust sample, immediately adjacent to a torch cutting operation, exceeded the OSHA limit of 5 milligrams per cubic meter. One sample of lead exceeded the OSHA limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter, but none of the workers showed any evidence of lead absorption. Medical questionnaires and examinations confirmed the reported symptoms but found no work related associations. The types of tools and work postures used caused vibration and nerve compression. The authors conclude that no toxic exposures exist at this factory that would cause the reported neurologic symptoms. Symptoms are probably due to ergonomic factors such as heavy cutting and grinding tools, and overhead work postures. The authors recommend the use of antivibration gloves, better work place design, and further ergonomic evaluations.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Automotive-industry; Region-1; Neuropathy; Extremities; Clinical-symptoms; Heavy-metals; Industrial-hygiene-programs; Air-samples; HETA-81-433-1452; Author Keywords: Conveyors and Conveying equipment; lead; manganese; cadmium; chromium; ergonomics
7439-92-1; 7440-43-9; 7440-47-3; 7439-96-5
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division