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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-041-1709. City of Columbus Refuse Derived Fuel Power Plant, Columbus, Ohio.

Ahrenholz SH
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 85-041-1709. 1986 Jul; :1-61
As a result of a request from the City of Columbus, Ohio, potential for heat stress along with exposure to chemical contaminants and airborne microbial pollutants was investigated at the city refuse derived fuel powerplant (SIC-4931, SIC-4953). Health hazards existed from lead (7439921) and silica exposures for workers involved in handling ash. Low levels of exposure to chromium (7440473), chromium-VI, cadmium (7440439), and nickel (7440020) were noted. Excessive heat stress occurred during the maintenance activities in hot areas of the facility. Airborne microbial contamination levels in the refuse handling areas indicated that exposure hazards existed by both the inhalation and ingestion routes. Human pathogens may be present in the microbial pollutants. The author recommends that the use of engineering controls be instituted to lessen the exposure of employees to lead. In the power plant area and in the refuse handling area, eating, drinking, and the carrying or use of tobacco products or cosmetics should be prohibited. Use of dry sweeping or compressed air cleaning of surfaces to remove dust must be discontinued. Vacuuming or wet removal of dust particles should be used instead. At material transfer points, where dust exposure can be a real problem, it is recommended that enclosures be built. Single use disposable dust respirators are not recommended. Recommended methods for controlling heat stress include modification of environmental heat exchange components, work schedule modifications, protective clothing, worker education, and preplacement and periodic medical surveillance.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-85-041-1709; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Dust-control; Dust-particles; Cadmium-dust; Lead-poisoning; Coal-dust; Electric-power-generation; Author Keywords: Electric and Other Services Combined; Refuse Systems; residential refuse; electric power generation; lead; cadmium; chromium; nickel; chromium VI; crystalline silica; respirable dust; fly ash; coal dust; heat stress; hot environments; airborne microbial contamination; aerobiological sampling; municipality; bulk samples
7439-92-1; 7440-47-3; 7440-43-9; 7440-02-0
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
4931; 4953
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division