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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-80-22, Tetley, Inc., Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Employee exposure to tea dust was evaluated at Tetley, Inc. (SIC- 2099), Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for possible respiratory health effects, following a local union request in November, 1979. Personal and area airborne dust samples taken along with area samples quantifying airborne fungi, and a noise survey comprised the tests run at the facility. The facility employs about 200 workers when in full production. Only one dust sample exceeded the OSHA nuisance standard and that was from a cleaner who was performing an exceptionally dusty, nonroutine task. The particle size distribution of the dust was such that much would be deposited in the nose and throat. This might explain the frequent upper respiratory problems experienced by Tetley workers. Airborne fungi concentrations were not directly related to gravimetric dust concentrations. According to the author, results suggest that health problems related to occupational exposure to tea dust, and possibly also to noise, exist among workers at the facility. Results also demonstrated the effectiveness of engineering controls for reducing potential work place exposures in that the lowest fungal count was obtained nearby the tea bag reclaiming process, which at the time was being conducted under a specially designed ventilation hood. Noise survey results indicated that recommended NIOSH levels were being exceeded in many instances.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HHE-80-22; Region-3; Dust-analysis; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Food-processing-industry; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Hazard-Confirmed
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HHE-80-22, 28 pages, 19 references
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division