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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-171-1710, International Bakers Services, Inc., South Bend, Indiana.

McConnell RS; Hartle RW
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 85-171-1710, 1986 Jul; :1-39
In response to a request from International Bakers Services, Inc. (SIC-2099), South Bend, Indiana, a health hazard evaluation was conducted in the mixing room. At this location in the factory, three employees are charged with weighing and loading a large variety of fragrances, flavorings, starch, and 50 to 100 pound bags of flour into one of three mixers. Considerable dust is generated during the loading and mixing tasks. At times, this dust level has been measured at 20 milligrams per cubic meter. When material was added to the mixers, employees wore a supplied air respirator. Workers did not always use the respirator during clean up operations. Catastrophic fixed airway disease developed in two workers who had no known personal risk factors prior to employment at the factory. The disease is suggestive of bronchiolitis obliterans or emphysema. The workers demonstrated symptoms of the disease within 5 to 6 months of beginning employment. Two other workers in the mixing room were not affected. No specific etiology of the illnesses was identified. The authors conclude that a short term exposure to a specific mix may have triggered the reaction and initiated the disease in these individuals. They recommend that when a specific etiology for a disease cannot be found, all airborne dust exposures should be controlled in the mixing room. In cases where engineering or ventilation changes alone may not be sufficient, protective equipment in the form of a respirator should be worn. This report also contains the walk through survey report made at the facility to study control technology employed in the manual transfer of chemical powders.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; HETA-85-171-1710; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-exposure; Dusts; Grain-dusts; Food-handlers; Food-processing; Food-processing-equipment; Food-processing-industry; Author Keywords: Food Preparations, Not Elsewhere Classified; bakery supplies; bakers; grains; flour; amorphous silica; flavors; fragrances; endotoxin; proteolytic enzymes; bronchiolitis obliterans
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division