NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Working with cutting fluids (Revised. See: 74-124).
Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 71-10252, OH Series No. 001, 1971 Jan; :1-6
This pamphlet provided information on the occupational health aspects of work with cutting fluids. Topics included a definition of cutting fluids, uses, effects of cutting fluids on exposed workers, exposure control, symptoms, management responsibilities, and worker responsibilities. The major types of cutting fluids in use were straight oils, emulsified oils, and synthetic fluids. These fluids removed the surface oils from human skin causing drying to occur resulting in cracking and an increased likelihood of infections occurring on the damaged skin. Contact dermatitis resulted in many individuals, partly due to the presence of additives in the oils. Particles of metals suspended in the cutting fluids could cause cuts or scratches on the skin. Inhalation of the oil caused mucous membrane irritation. Heavy mist concentrations could result in lipoid pneumonitis. Contact with such fluids should be avoided. Good personal hygiene and safe work practices should be instituted. Regular cleaning of work areas, the use of hooded machines, splash guards, barrier creams, protective clothing, and eye or face shields should be used to reduce exposure. Cutting fluids should be monitored frequently for acidity, bacterial and fungal concentrations, deterioration, cleanliness and other factors. Any evidence of skin irritation should be reported immediately. Management should inform machine operators of the hazards of cutting fluids.
Machinists; Lubricating-oils; Lubricants; Machine-shop-workers; Machine-operators; Skin-exposure; Oil-mists; Lung-irritants; Contact-dermatitis
DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 71-10252
Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division