Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-091-1637, Residences (Times Beach Flood Debris Cleanup), Times Beach, Missouri.
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 83-091-1637, 1985 Nov; :1-17
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1746016) (TCDD) and total dust during cleanup of flood debris (SIC-4953) at Times Beach, Missouri in 1983. The evaluation was requested by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to monitor and assess the contractor's employee personal protective program while cleaning up flood debris potentially contaminated with TCDD. Work practices were observed. No TCDD was detected. Total dust concentrations ranged up to 6.98 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). The OSHA standard for total dust is 15mg/m3. A number of major deficiencies in the contractor's health and safety program were observed. Respirators were used without being fit tested. No physical barriers between contaminated and non contaminated areas were provided. Wastewater from decontamination trenches going off site was allowed to accumulate on the surface and seep into the ground. All individuals reporting to the staging area for work drove through the contaminated area. The author concludes that workers at the site were at no additional health risk due to dioxin or total dust exposures. Recommendations include testing respirators for proper fit, providing training on respirator maintenance, and properly arranging decontamination areas, so that workers progressed to cleaner sites as they were being decontaminated.
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