HHE Report No. HETA-84-496-1766, Applied Plastics, Slocum, Rhode Island.
Keenlyside-RA; House-LA; Stoekel-M; Durand-JM
NIOSH 1987 Jan:26 pages
In response to a request from the owners of Applied Plastics Inc. (SIC-3079), Slocum, Rhode Island, an investigation was made of possible cases of polymer fume fever among workers complaining of fever, chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, musculoskeletal pain and headache. Urinary fluoride (16984488) levels measured in preshift samples ranged from 0.3 milligrams/gram (mg/g) to 1.5mg/g and from 0.2mg/g to 1.0mg/g in postshift samples. Levels were similar among exposed and nonexposed workers. Pulmonary function tests showed only one worker with a significant decrease in lung function over the shift. He was a machinist who had a 23 percent loss of 1 second forced expiratory volume. During work he was exposed to cutting oils which may have contributed to this change. Breathing zone samples showed low levels of toluene (108883) and most had a trace amount of hexane equivalents. All levels of toxic substances were well below permissible exposure limits. The authors conclude that even though the environmental and medical studies did not demonstrate high exposure levels or absorption of fumes, workers did demonstrate sometimes incapacitating symptoms of polymer fume fever. Based on this, the authors recommend changes in work practices, improved ventilation, closer attention to no smoking policies and improved personal hygiene. These measures are expected to reduce exposure and illness rates.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-84-496-1766; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Plastics-industry; Inhalants; Organic-solvents; Fluorocarbons;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance;
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-84-496-1766, 26 pages, 21 references