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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-039-1723, E.L. Smithe Machine Company, Duncansville, Pennsylvania.

Bennett DE
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 85-039-1723, 1986 Aug; :1-31
The International Association of Machinists Local 2348 requested an investigation of reported skin rashes and headaches associated with cutting and cooling oils and solvents used in the machine shop of the Smithe Machine Company (SIC-3549), Duncansville, Pennsylvania. Cutting oils in use were not regularly changed. Headaches, dizziness, and respiratory complaints were considered by workers to be caused by exposure to SuperSolve-S, used on finished machines in a spray form. Some areas of the facility had low humidity and high temperature readings which increased the irritant qualities of the contaminants. No fresh air was brought in by the ventilation system. Of 62 employees interviewed, 42 (68 percent) had experienced skin problems occurring on their hands and arms including red skin, dry skin, cracked skin, or itchy skin, related to chemical exposures at the workplace. Xerosis, lichenification, or eczema of the hands and arms was noted on examination of 17 employees of the Lathe Department and 18 of those from the Milling Department, 63 and 60 percent of the workforce in each department, respectively. Respiratory and neurological complaints were also found among these employees. The author concluded that the incidence of hand and arm xerosis and eczema in workers in the machining area may be associated with exposure to cutting oils. The author recommends that changes be made to minimize skin exposure and provide adequate ventilation and humidification.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-85-039-1723; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Organic-solvents; Skin-exposure; Skin-disorders; Author Keywords: Metalworking Machinery; Printing Trade Machinery and Equipment; dermatitis; cutting oils; solvents
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
3549; 3555
Source Name
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