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Health hazard evaluation report: MHETA-87-110-1943, Columbia Farms Poultry Plant, Columbia, South Carolina.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, MHETA 87-110-1943, 1989 Jan; :1-26
In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a study was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the Columbia Farms (SIC-2016) poultry processing center, West Columbia, South Carolina. Over 100,000 chickens were processed per day at the facility. The facility was located adjacent to the West Columbia water treatment site and was first on the water line to receive water from the site. In April of 1986 a change was made in the form of water treatment from chloration to chloramination for cost effectiveness, more stable water treatment, and lower trihalomethane levels in finished water. Workers in the inspection area experienced eye, nose and throat irritation which was traced to uncombined ammonia (7664417) and chloramines in the water at the processing facility. Concentrations of these chemicals in the water were quite variable. The author concludes that the symptoms in the workers may have resulted from high levels of ammonia and chloramines on some days. The author recommends that the water treatment facility change from post ammoniation to pre ammoniation, or that the food processing facility should explore the possibility of another source of water or treatment of the incoming water to remove the chloramines.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; MHETA-87-110-1943; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Irritants; Respiratory-irritants; Eye-irritants; Food-processing-industry; Poultry-industry; Poultry-workers; Author Keywords: poultry dressing plants; eye irritation; chlorine; chloramines; nitrogen trichloride
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division