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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-440-1537, Papillion Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Omaha, Nebraska.
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 83-440-1537, 1984 Nov; :1-34
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for hydrogen- sulfide (7783064) at Papillion Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (SIC-4952), Omaha, Nebraska in October, 1983. The survey was requested by the City of Omaha to evaluate working conditions at the facility. The request was prompted by the death of a worker exposed to sewer gas. Questionnaires were administered to the workforce. Hospital records and the autopsy report of the deceased worker were reviewed. Breathing zone and area air hydrogen-sulfide concentrations ranged up to 2.2 and 133 parts per million (ppm), respectively. The NIOSH standard for hydrogen-sulfide is 10ppm. Forty one of 54 workers responding to the questionnaire reported that they had experienced at least three symptoms associated with hydrogen-sulfide exposure. The pattern of illness and death of the deceased worker was consistent with hydrogen-sulfide poisoning. The authors conclude that the worker died of hydrogen-sulfide exposure. Conditions inside the facility are such that life threatening hydrogen-sulfide concentrations can develop. Recommendations include studying the physical and chemical characteristics of the sewage to determine a means of preventing the growth of bacteria that produce hydrogen-sulfide, exerting a maximum effort to reduce hydrogen-sulfide exposures, and installing a hydrogen-sulfide alarm system.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Construction; Region-7; Water-industry; Vapors; Water-analysis; Waste-treatment; HETA-83-440-1537; Author Keywords: Sewage Workers; Sanitary Services; Heavy construction, Water, Sewer, Pipe Line, Communication and Power Line Construction); hydrogen sulfide; wastewater; confined space; sewage; sewage treatment plant; incinerators; ash
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
4952; 4950; 1623
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division