Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-381-1411, Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Reed LD; Blanc P; Hartle RW; Hull RD
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 83-381-1411, 1984 Jan; :1-13
In response to a request from an employee of the Cincinnati Reds groundskeeping crew at the Riverfront Stadium (SIC-9999), Cincinnati, Ohio, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous exposures to ammonia (7664417) during the removal of painted lines from the artificial turf. Anhydrous ammonia was used between football and baseball games during season overlap to remove the water based acrylic painted lines from the turf. Converting the lines requires about 6 hours. A sample of the anhydrous ammonia used to remove the paint was analyzed and found to contain 20 percent ammonia. Short term ammonia levels ranged from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 350ppm; the NIOSH recommended short term exposure limit was 50ppm. Airborne ammonia concentrations from 18 personal samples ranged from 11.9 to 52.4ppm. The time weighted average values (TWA) were determined to range from 8.9 to 39.3ppm; the OSHA limit was 50ppm. Medical questionnaires given to 29 workers indicated that 100 percent experienced eye irritation, over 50 percent experienced skin irritation and nearly 90 percent experienced respiratory irritation during the process. Respirators were available, but they were old and had been poorly maintained. Some workers wore gloves and goggles. The authors conclude that a real hazard existed from exposure to ammonia during line removal operations. The authors recommend that the strength of the solution be reduced to 8 percent ammonia, respiratory protection be upgraded, all employees wear goggles or face shields to prevent eye irritation, and gloves, aprons, and boots be worn to minimize skin irritation.
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