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NIOSH Testimony on Vinyl Chloride by M. M. Key, August 21, 1974.

NIOSH 1974 Aug:6 pages
This testimony before the Subcommittee on the Environment reviewed the activities of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare concerning health hazards associated with exposure to vinyl-chloride (75014) (VC). The speaker first reviewed the use of the monomer vinyl-chloride in the manufacturing of plastics and the production statistics. The anesthetic qualities of VC have long been known, with concentrations greater than 8 to 12 percent causing dizziness, drowsiness, disorientation and unconsciousness. An occupational exposure limit of 500 parts per million (ppm) was established in 1946 by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. This was lowered to 200ppm on the demonstration of liver toxicity in animal studies. A renewed interest in the toxicity of the chemical occurred with the outbreak of acroosteolysis, a rare bone disease, among polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) reactor cleaners in the 1960's. The use of PVC bottles for distilled spirits was prohibited in 1973 when the results of tests indicated VC was leaching out of the bottles into the contents. A cluster of deaths from an unusual liver cancer within a 5 year period at one facility of the BF Goodrich's VC production company caused an extreme amount of concern and activity to pinpoint the causes and take the necessary steps to prevent further disease. Two of the outcomes of this intense study were the development of a liver angiosarcoma network by NIOSH and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and an epidemiologic study of workers exposed to VC as conducted by NIOSH and CDC.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Key-M-M; Plastics-industry; Polymerization; Epidemiology; Liver-cancer; Carcinogens; Cancer-rates; Toxic-effects;
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NIOSH, 6 pages
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division