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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-162-1746, Handy and Harman, Inc., Fairfield, Connecticut.

McManus KP; Kominsky JR; Cherniak MG; McConnell R; Handke J
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 83-162-1746, 1986 Nov; :1-41
A request was received from the United States Steelworkers to investigate possible health hazards related to employee exposures to beryllium (7440417), arsenic (7440382), lead (7439921), nickel (7440020), cadmium (7440439), and silver (7440224) at Handy and Harman, Inc. (SIC-3341), located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Granulomatous lung disease was present in five employees of the refinery, four of whom had worked in the furnace area. The investigation did result in the confirmation that a health hazard from beryllium exposure has existed at this facility. Four of the five cases were work related. Of 121 personal air samples, 114 exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silver, 62 exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for beryllium, 55 exceeded the OSHA PEL for lead, 54 exceeded the NIOSH REL for nickel, and 6 exceeded the NIOSH REL for arsenic. Cadmium levels are to be maintained at the lowest feasible limit. The 39 personal air samples from the manufacturing melt area showed exposure to cadmium from 9.3 to 115 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3), and silver concentrations ranging from 11 to 104microg/m3. All of the silver concentrations exceeded the OSHA PEL. The authors conclude that a health hazard from beryllium exposure has and may still exist at this facility. Recommendations include the use of rubber gaskets on drums during blender and crusher unloading, redesign of ventilation hoods and their operation at sufficient velocity, the use of respirators in the melt room, and systematic medical examinations.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-83-162-1746; Region-1; Hazard-Confirmed; Beryllium-compounds; Beryllium-poisoning; Smelters; Metal-refining; Metallic-poisoning; Author Keywords: beryllium disease; sarcoidosis; granulomatous disease; beryllium; lead; arsenic; nickel; cadmium; silver
7440-41-7; 7440-38-2; 7439-92-1; 7440-02-0; 7440-43-9; 7440-22-4
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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