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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-538-1667, General Telephone Company, Sherman, Texas.
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 85-538-1667, 1986 Feb; :1-10
Following an employee request, potential health problems among telephone cable splicers were investigated at the General Telephone Company (SIC-4811) Sherman, Texas. Information was collected on materials used, work procedures, and personal protective equipment employed. Materials of primary concern were petrolatum (8002059) in the filled cable, petroleum distillates used as cable cleaner, and isocyanates in the two part reenterable encapsulant. Personal air samples taken by OSHA during pouring operations with the encapsulant revealed no detectable isocyanate concentrations. Observation of a large splicing operation showed the head of the splicer was positioned over the top of the casing while pouring encapsulant components allowing potential exposure. Petrolatum was determined to be physiologically inert. Nine of 32 potentially exposed workers completed questionnaires. The most frequently reported symptoms were head congestion and headaches at work; 67 percent reported warts and 33 percent reported skin rashes. The author concludes that a health hazard to employees does not exist under normal operating conditions. Workers are advised not to use cable cleaner for personal cleanup. To avoid potential isocyanate sensitization, minimizing exposure, use of personal protective equipment, and good work practices are recommended. Cuts and abrasions among splicers may be implicated in wart formation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-85-538-1667; Region-6; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Solvents; Skin-disorders; Petroleum-products; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Telephone Communications (Wire or Radio); Isocyanates; Petroleum Distillates; Petrolatum; Cable Splicers
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: August 14, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division