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HHE Report No. HETA-80-000-007, Interim Report No. 1. Technical Assistance Project No. TA 80-7, General Services Administration, National Capital Region, Washington, D.C.
Moseley CL; Flesch JP
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 80-000-007, 1979 Nov; :1-7
In response to a request from the National Capital Region of the General Services Administration, Washington, D.C., the health status of about 43 electricians who worked with transformer fluid containing polychlorinated-biphenyls (1336363) (PCBs) was being evaluated. Transformer maintenance had been conducted at this site for about 5 years. About 150 of 1100 transformers were leaking and/or were in need of immediate service. During the servicing procedure, the electrician visited the transformer and removed a sample of the fluid, returned to the work site, and tested the dielectric strength, and returned to the field site to replace the amount withdrawn with new askarel. Symptoms included skin rashes, headaches, loss of appetite, and possible sterility. No routine health monitoring was provided. None of the complaints had been documented to date. Personal protective equipment provided included gloves, coveralls, hard hats, chemical goggles and a half face organic vapor cartridge respirator. Preliminary environmental air samples of selected areas in the work site ranged from nondetectable to 15 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3). A sample taken at a field site which contained a leaking transformer, measured 30microg/m3. These workers were also exposed to solvents used in cleanup of PCBs and solvents used in the askarel itself. Future plans include the medical examination of all 43 employees and a suitable comparison group. The authors recommend the use of personal protective equipment and good work practices.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-80-000-007; Region-3; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Maintenance-workers; Electrical-workers; Occupational-exposure; Hazard-Confirmed
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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