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Mercury control technology assessment study, GTE Products Corporation, Chemical and Metallurgical Division, Towanda, Pennsylvania, preliminary survey report for the site visit of June 9, 1981.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ECTB 109-14a, 1982 Jun; :1-18
A visit was made to GTE Products Corporation, Chemical and Metallurgical Division, Towanda, Pennsylvania to evaluate mercury (7439976) control methods. The company manufactured chemical, metal, and ceramic products; tungsten bar pressing and treating required the use of mercury. Ten workers had potential mercury exposure during this typical tungsten sintering activity. Mercury was used as a continuous electrical contact in the sintering process and was contained in pools called mercury cups. Each sintering unit was located in a ventilated enclosure. The density of completed bars was determined by immersing them in a pool of mercury and weighing the displaced mercury. When the bar was removed from the pool, mercury was brushed off into a tray of water. The ventilation system, air supply and air exhaust systems were described. Personal protective equipment included sheepskin gloves, Tyvek disposable smocks, and air line respirators. Work practices were delineated. Biological monitoring included monthly urinalysis for mercury. Workers with urine mercury level exceeding 0.10 milligrams/liter were removed to another area of the facility. Air contaminant monitoring was not routinely performed at this site. The authors conclude that existing control strategies associated with the manufacture of tungsten rods may be effective in controlling exposures to mercury. It is recommended that the facility adopt a regular air monitoring program to determine levels of mercury in ambient air.
NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Region-3; NIOSH-Contract; Mercury-vapors; Metallurgical-processes; Heavy-metals
Field Studies; Control Technology
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Enviro Control Division, Dynamac Corporation, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division