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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-027-1281, Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Colorado.
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 82-027-1281, 1983 Mar; :1-8
In response to a request from a representative of the Denver Museum of Natural History (SIC-8421), Denver, Colorado, an evaluation was made of possible employee exposure to DDT (50293) during the cleaning of skeletons for display in the museum. Prior to the mid 1970's, DDT had been used as a disinfectant on animal specimens shipped from Africa. The same disinfectant solution also frequently contained arsenic (7440382). Six bulk samples (dirt, dust, and skeletal scrapings) were collected for analysis along with three personal and six area air samples. The bulk samples indicated DDT content ranging from 4 to 5500 micrograms/gram. The air samples gave levels ranging from 0.002 to 0.1mg/m3. None of the employees had any medical complaints. The author concludes that no overexposure to DDT was occurring during the cleaning operation. A potential health hazard existed, but overexposure was avoided due to use of personal protective equipment and proper techniques. The author recommends that personal protective clothing be mandatory including coveralls, boots, gloves, head caps, and organic pesticide type respirators. Good personal hygiene practices should be followed. Engineering controls to reduce exposures should be instituted such as a cleaning enclosure/compartment designed to collect waste DDT materials during cleanup of the bones, and the use of vacuum equipment with a high efficiency filter system. Shipping of the DDT contaminated waste materials should be in accordance with the EPA regulations.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-027-1281; Region-8; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Pesticides; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Skin-exposure; Author Keywords: Arboreta, Botanical, and Zoological Gardens, Dichlorodiphenyl Trichloroethane; DOT; Arsenic; Zoological Exhibits; Preparators; Curators; Taxidermists; Mammal Skeletons; Botswanna; Africa
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