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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-147-1783, Converters Ink Company, Linden, New Jersey.

Gann P; Liveright T
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 82-147-1783, 1987 Mar; :1-19
The management of the Converters Ink Company (SIC-2893) located in Linden, New Jersey, requested a hazard evaluation at that facility following several reports of strong odors and illness among the workers. The symptoms included fever, weakness, chills, headache and chest discomfort. The odor emanated from the chemical storage area which also contained a Fade-Ometer machine used to test the fade resistance of various inks. Study narrowed down the cause to a water aerosol from the Fade-Ometer machine. Questionnaires, pulmonary function tests, serum precipitin tests, and fungal cultures identified the illness among 14 workers as humidifier lung, a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The illness was largely acute and self limited, and there was no evidence of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis developing in this group of workers. While the antigen for this illness was not determined, it was contained in stagnant water from the humidifier in the machine. Highly specific results were obtained using a gel diffusion test for serum precipitins to the stagnant water. The authors' recommendations include: institution of a continual flow of water through the humidifier system in this machine; draining of water from the machine at least once a month and cleaning of the surfaces with a bacteriostatic and fungistatic solution; addition of an algicide to the Fade-Ometer water to reduce the presence of organic matter; and monitoring of illnesses among laboratory personnel.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-82-147-1783; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Region-2; Hazard-Confirmed; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Printing-inks; Chemical-industry-workers; Serology; Author Keywords: Production of Inks; respiratory complaints; hypersensitivity pneumonitis
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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