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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-361-1437, Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corporation, Grants, New Mexico.
Ward-EM; Smith-AB; Thun-MJ; Hills-B
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 82-361-1437, 1984 Mar; :1-34
A health hazard evaluation at Kerr/McGee Nuclear Corporation's uranium (7440611) mill (SIC-1094) in Grants, New Mexico was conducted in November, 1982. Evaluation was requested because of union concern about exposure and possible nephrotoxic effects of yellowcake, a concentrate of natural uranium, produced at the mill. Personnel records, company environmental and personal monitoring, and urine uranium bioassay data were reviewed. A total of 269 of 1127 urine samples exceeded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) lower action concentration of 15 micrograms per liter (microg/l) for uranium, and 104 samples exceeded the NRC upper action concentration of 30microg/l. Workers in the yellowcake drier and precipitation areas of the mill had mean urine uranium concentrations of 15 to 30microg/l. Duration of exposure to yellowcake was 1.5 to 7 years. The authors conclude that 23.9 percent of the urine uranium samples exceed the NRC lower action limit and 9.3 percent exceed the upper limit. Further medical evaluation at the facility is not warranted as the longest exposure to yellowcake was only 7 years. They recommend that Kerr/McGee use the NRC guidelines for assessing exposure. Emission sources in the drier and precipitation area should be identified and engineering controls installed to reduce the exposure.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Metal-refining; Region-6; Exposure-levels; Urinalysis; Health-standards; Kidney-damage; HETA-82-361-1437; Author Keywords: uranium ore dust; yellowcake; nephrotoxic effects
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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