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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-510-1937, John Deere, Dubuque, Iowa.

Gunter BJ; Wilcox TG; Nichting AT
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 85-510-1937, 1988 Nov; :1-20
In response to a request from Local 94 of the United Auto Workers Union, an evaluation was made of exposure to coolants contaminated with N-nitrosamine compounds at the John Deere Company (SIC-3531), Dubuque, Iowa. Concerns had been expressed about the incidence of lung cancer and brain cancer in the work force. The large facility employed about 3,000 workers in the manufacture of small industrial equipment. Cutting oils, soluble oils, and synthetic fluids were used in machining operations. Breathing and general air samples were taken for oil mist, nitrosamines, polynuclear aromatics and aldehydes. None of the air samples gave any indication of aldehydes or nitrosamines. Oil mist concentrations ranged from 0.11mg/m3 to 1.57mg/m3, while the OSHA standard was 5mg/m3. The polynuclear aromatic analytical screening showed quantities of several compounds ranging from nondetectable to 0.005mg/m3. A review of death certificates for workers that the union has listed as having died from lung cancer (six workers) or brain cancer (11 workers) did not support an occupational tie with the cases. Only two cases of primary brain cancer and seven cases of lung cancer were confirmed from death certificates. The authors conclude that a hazard did not exist from exposure to oil mist, aldehydes, nitrosamines, and polynuclear aromatics. The authors recommend that the company make information on cause of death of union members available to the union.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-85-510-1937; Region-7; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Machinists; Metal-workers; Nitrosamines; Lung-cancer; Carcinogenesis; Author Keywords: Construction Machinery and Equipment; Oil Mist; Polynuclear Hydrocarbons; Aldehydes; Nitrosamines
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division