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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-275-1285, C and P Telephone Company, Charleston, West Virginia.

Donohue MT; Ruhe RL
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 82-275-1285, 1983 Mar; :1-6
In response to a request from the Communications Workers of America, Local 2001, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the Chesapeake and Potomic Telephone Company (SIC- 4811), Charleston, West Virginia. Workers were experiencing skin irritation and rashes thought to be caused by a shiny "glitter" material in the directory assistance operators' work area. About 40 operators are employed in each of two assistance operator offices. Area samples for airborne fibrous glass and total particulates were collected along with ceiling tile samples. No fibrous glass was detected in air samples. Ceiling tiles contained less than 1 percent fibrous glass, and no asbestos. An analysis of the contaminants found on used rubber finger tabs indicated that the "glitter" was an aluminum (7429905) containing compound. Ten workers were interviewed; interviews indicated that seven of the ten workers had experienced eye and skin irritation during early April. Electrical conduit and cable had been installed in the building; aluminum filings may have been generated during the installation. At the beginning of April, the air conditioning system was brought on line; aluminum filings inadvertently introduced into the duct work may have been blown into the office. The authors conclude that a temporary health hazard did exist for some workers exposed to the "glitter" during April. The authors recommend that a periodic maintenance program be established for the air handling systems in the building, that a joint management and union education program be developed to address worker concerns and needs, that consideration be given to employee comfort, and that chairs with adjustable heights and firm back supports be provided for the directory assistance work area.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-275-1285; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Office-workers; Posture; Telephone-operators; Airborne-particles; Eye-irritants; Skin-irritants; Author Keywords: Telephone Communications; Glitter; Office Building; Indoor Air Pollution; Fibrous Glass; Asbestos; Aluminum Particles
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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