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An industrial hygiene survey of the zinc cell room, anode room, and zinc casting area, the Bunker Hill Company, Kellogg, Idaho, report no. IWS-56-10.
A study was begun at the Bunker Hill Company at the request of the state mine inspector to determine possible health hazards to workers at this smelter and zinc refinery located in Kellogg, Idaho. In depth surveys were conducted of the lead anode room, the cell room, the zinc casting department and the old roaster building and roaster number 5 building. The facility produced over 300 tons of high purity zinc per day. At the roasters any sulfur was burned off in the form of sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2) gas which escaped into the work atmosphere. Large amounts of fumes were emitted from the scrap furnace and the number 2 furnace. Workers in the cell room did not wear any respiratory protection. Considerable dust was noted at the mixer and screening operation. Huge dust accumulations were noted on the ledges of the roaster building, even though the building does have a vacuum system. Workers were also exposed to nitrogen-dioxide (10102440) fumes. Zinc (7440666) and lead (7439921) concentrations were measured in the air. At the casting area zinc-oxide (1314132) fumes were emitted into the work environment with values above 5mg/m3 being recorded. The author recommends that SO2 levels be reduced by engineering methods to acceptable levels. Changes should be made in the dust control systems and better ventilation systems should be provided. Routine monitoring of the work environment should be carried out.
NIOSH-Author; Region-10; IWS-56-10; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Electrolytic-refining; Smelters; Smelting; Lead-smelting; Primary-smelting; Acid-mists; Nitrogen-oxides; Sulfur-oxides
7446-09-5; 10102-44-0; 7440-66-6; 7439-92-1; 1314-13-2
Field Studies; Industry Wide
NTIS Accession No.
Western Area Occupational Health Laboratory, NIOSH, Report No. IWS-56-10, 20 pages
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division