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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-222-1631, Metz Metallurgical, South Plainfield, New Jersey.
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 83-222-1631, 1985 Nov; :1-24
Field visits and medical examinations were conducted in response to requests by workers at Metz Metallurgical (SIC-3341), South Plainfield, New Jersey concerned about exposure primarily to silver (7440224) powders. Airborne silver levels were above the OSHA standard of 0.01 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) in 10 of 13 samples. Urine silver levels were elevated in 96 percent of 27 workers tested; 92% had elevated blood silver levels; 19 percent had elevated cadmium (7440439) levels. Symptoms of respiratory irritation were reported in a majority of workers and nose bleeds in 8 of 27. Deposition of silver in the cornea of the eye was detected in 5 of 8 long term workers and was associated with complaints of decreased night vision. N-acetyl-B-D-glucosaminidase was significantly elevated in 4 individuals and correlated with blood silver levels. Estimated creatinine clearance was significantly lower. Kidney function may have been adversely affected. The authors conclude that a health hazard exists, and that exposure to silver and cadmium dust and fumes are causing respiratory, eye and kidney problems among exposed workers. Exposure is to be reduced to follow-up medical surveillance program initiated.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-83-222-1631; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Confirmed; Nephrotoxicity; Eye-damage; Refineries; Smelting; Region-2; Health-hazards; Pulmonary-system-disorders; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Silver; Cadmium; Ocular Toxicity; Nephrotoxicity; NAG
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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