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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-449-1781, COSCO, Inc., Columbus, Indiana.
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 85-449-1781, 1987 Mar; :1-29
A health evaluation was requested by employees at COSCO Inc. (SIC- 2519), Columbus, Indiana, concerning exposures to hazardous materials in the spray paint area, silk screening, welding, plastic regrind, press area, router area, and plating department. The facility was engaged in the manufacture of juvenile and household furniture. Employees had complained of eye, nose and throat irritation plus skin rashes and a burning sensation on the lips among the heat seal department employees. The study showed that one heat seal operator was exposed in excess of the OSHA standard for radiofrequency energy waves of 10 milliwatts/square centimeter. Breathing zone monitoring of welders indicated that one of them was exposed to excessive levels of airborne nickel (7440020) at 37 micrograms/cubic meter (NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit of 15 micrograms/cubic meter). The authors recommend that either the manufacturers of the heat sealing devices or a private consultant be contracted to reduce the exposure from these machines. One traditional method would be through shielding. An improvement in the ventilation system at the welding area would solve the problem of nickel exposure. General recommendations include avoidance of disposing of solvent soaked rags in a noncovered receptacle and not using solvents as general cleaning compounds, particularly for hand cleaning prior to breaks or at the end of the shift.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-85-449-1781; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Region-5; Hazards-Confirmed; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Organic-solvents; Woodworking-industry; Furniture-workers; Furniture-manufacture; Nonionizing-radiation; Author Keywords: Household furniture not elsewhere classified; Non-ionizing radiation; radio frequency; heat seal; methyl isobutyl ketone; methyl ethyl ketone; tetrahydrofuran; 1,1,1-trichloroethane; toluene; xylene; welding; nickel
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division