In response to a request from an employee representative, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the PVC Container Corporation (SIC-3079), Eatontown, New Jersey. Concerns included skin contact with polyvinyl-chloride (9002862) (PVC) pellets, dust and coloring agents; inhalation of gases during heating, manual pulling, and blow molding of PVC; and inhalation of PVC dust. PVC bottles were produced at this facility through a blow molding process. Personal samples for respirable dusts indicated levels ranging from not detectable to 0.14 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). Benzene (71432) was detected at the extruder head at concentrations of 0.02 parts per million. Organotin levels of 0.13, 6, and 10, respectively. Noise exposures ranged from 88 to 102 decibels-A (dBA) at the face of the blow molding units. Noise levels ranged from 85 to 92dBA at inspection stations for packers. Headaches, nausea and dry skin were noted among employees, probably as a result of exposure to volatilized organotins and other decomposition products such as coloring agents and hydrochloric-acid (7647010). Symptoms were most common when workers were pulling parison from extruder heads during minor maintenance activities when automatic hot melt grinders were inoperative. The authors conclude that headaches, nausea and dry skin may have been caused by exposures to volatilized organotins and other decomposition products while pulling parison. Some workers were also overexposed to noise. The authors recommend that a preventive maintenance program for hot melt grinders be used, to eliminate the need to manually pull the plastic parison from the extruder head. Noise reduction schemes should be continued until the noise levels are reduced to acceptable levels.
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