Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-365-1282, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
In response to a request from the President of Local 720, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Machine Operators, an evaluation was made of the exposure of employees to smoke produced by the pyrotechnics used during the show, Jubilee, in the Ziegfeld Showroom of the MGM Grand Hotel (SIC- 7922), Las Vegas, Nevada. Approximately 150 employees (stagehands, wardrobe attendants and entertainers) were potentially exposed. Workers had reported respiratory difficulties, sinus problems, eye irritation and nausea. Total particulates measured by the Nevada State Department of Occupational Safety and Health ranged from 0.02 to 1.34 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) as a time weighted average, and were below the OSHA inert dust standard of 15mg/m3. No barium (7440393) was found. Sixteen of 17 concerned workers interviewed at the union hall had respiratory or eye irritation from the smoke, while nine reported symptoms suggestive of bronchitis. Skin irritation was also reported. Based on information from the manufacturer of the pyrotechnics, it was determined that the smoke residue would be an alkaline dust, which could be irritative. MGM professed reluctance for NIOSH to make an on site visit, but has made extensive modifications in the use of pyrotechnics during this show in response to the complaint. Telephone interviews with workers indicated that working conditions were better since these changes were implemented. The author concludes that a health hazard did exist due to the smoke from the pyrotechnic displays; changes made by MGM improved the situation. The author recommends further improvements, including changes in ventilation and proper use of respirators.