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Composite Report on Lead Studies for TA-76-107, N. L. Bearings, Fremont, Nebraska.

Thoburn TW; Carnow BW; Conibear SA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 76-107, 1978 Jul; :1-14
In response to a request from OSHA, NIOSH undertook an assessment of the general health of workers at a railroad bearing foundry during an abatement period. This abatement period was instituted by OSHA while the facility attempted to correct violations of the airborne lead (7439921) standard. At this site both a lead recovery operation and a foundry were operational. Both were housed in one large building which used to be a grain elevator. The finished products were bearings for journal boxes of railroad cars. The lining of these bearings was composed of 87 percent lead, 3 percent tin, and 9 percent antimony. Electric furnaces melted down the scrap metal and reclaimed the lead. A total of 95 workers were screened using a zinc-protoporphyrin (ZPP) test. Fifty two of the men who had worked at high risk jobs or had a ZPP value equal to or greater than 90 microgram percent were examined by history, physical and laboratory tests. Of these, 85 percent had lead levels greater than 40 micrograms per 100 milliliters of blood and over 20 percent had levels greater than 60 micrograms. Thirty five had abnormally elevated blood pressures and a number had abnormalities of the urine and other parameters of renal function including blood urea nitrogen. During a walk through of the facility it appeared that lead or dust possibly containing lead was present in abundance on floors, worktables and clothing of the workers. The authors recommend that housekeeping be improved, that more vigorous lead monitoring and control programs be instituted, that the abatement program be reviewed to see if workers can be given additional protection, and that abnormalities of kidney function and blood pressure be followed up.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-7; TA-76-107; Hazards-Confirmed; Lead-poisoning; Kidney-damage; Blood-analysis; Urinalysis; Foundry-workers; Foundries; Heavy-metals
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Field Studies; Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division