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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-246-1610, Public Service Electric and Gas Corporation, Iselin, New Jersey.
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 83-246-1610, 1985 Jul; :1-19
In response to a request from the employees' union, an evaluation was made of complaints of burning, itching, and redness of hands, hives, and irritation of the eyes at the Public Service Electric and Gas Corporation's Customer Payment Processing (SIC-4931) facility in Iselin, New Jersey. All 45 employees working at the facility participated. It was suspected that symptoms were related to use of an automatic envelope opener, the AES MAILSYSTEM 3/30, which used Paper Fiber Separator solution (PFS). Payment processors, who spent the workday handling opened envelopes, experienced a higher prevalence of symptoms (75 percent of workers) than did the other workers. Clerical workers had the second highest prevalence (57 percent), while managers did not report symptoms of any kind. Twenty five percent of AES 3/30 operators had symptoms. Analysis of PFS indicated 18.2 percent propylene-glycol-monomethyl-ether (107982), a known irritant; this was present at 82.3mg/kg in treated envelopes. Dust which may have come from envelopes was found inside the machine and on work surfaces in payment processing. Management and employees reported that ventilation seemed inadequate. The author concludes that skin and mucous membrane irritation and headaches area associated with payment processing at the facility and with the AES 3/30. The author recommends that employee contact with the envelopes and dust be limited and that proper general ventilation be installed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-83-246-1610; Region-2; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Office-workers; Solvent-vapors; Air-quality-control; Dust-control; Dust-inhalation; Respiratory-irritants; Author Keywords: Electric and Other Services Combined; indoor air pollution; glycol ethers; propylene glycol monomethyl ether; mucous membrane irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division