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Health hazard evlauation report: HETA-81-284-1292, Union Carbide Grafito, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.
Cone JE; Lucas A
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 81-284-1292, 1984 Feb; :1-20
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for sulfur- dioxide (7446095 (SO2), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNA), and benzene soluble coal-tar-pitch (8007452) volatiles at Union Carbide Grafito (SIC-3624), Yabucoa, Puerto Rico in July and October, 1981. The evaluation was requested by the president of the union local because of concern for worker exposure to air contaminants and complaints of skin and respiratory irritation. Health questionnaires were completed by 97 exposed workers and 36 less or non-exposed office workers. None of the SO2 samples exceeded the OSHA standard of 5 parts per million (ppm); however, 44 percent of the samples exceeded the NIOSH recommended criterion of 0.5ppm. Dust samples were below the OSHA standard. Forty five percent of the coal-tar-pitch volatile samples exceeded the OSHA standard of quantities of PNA. There is no current standard for PNA. Exposed workers had significantly increased incidences of eye irritation, dermatitis, back pain, and exertional dyspnea. There was evidence of phototoxic dermatitis in 14 workers. The authors conclude that a health hazard exists from exposure to SO2. Some workers are also exposed to PNA for which no safe concentration has been established. Improvements in exhaust ventilation and work practices are recommended.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-2; Chemical-industry-workers; Air-contamination; Sulfur-oxides; Skin-irritants; Respiratory-irritants; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Volatiles; HETA-81-284-1292; Author Keywords: Carbon and Graphite Products; Sulfur Dioxide; Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons; Pitch; Phototoxic Dermatitis
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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