HHE Report No. HETA-86-380-1957, York International Corporation, Madisonville, Kentucky.
In response to a request from the employees at Central Environmental Systems (SIC-3585), Madisonville, Kentucky, a facility of the York International Corporation, an investigation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at this site. Workers were apparently exposed to trichloroethylene (79016) (TCE) used to degrease parts which are assembled into tube and fin heat exchange units for commercial and residential heat pumps. The coil department used 40 workers per shift, with three shifts working each day. The department assembled the copper tubing and aluminum fins into the heat exchange units. Solvent degreasing was the commonly used cleaning method at this site. TCE concentrations in the breathing zones of workers in the coil department ranged from 31 to 38 parts per million (ppm) and averaged 34ppm during the first day of the survey. The workers monitored included brazers, pushers, and coil handlers. One short term potential exposure to greater than 100ppm TCE was noted. All of the full shift exposures measured, except one, exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 25ppm. Workers experienced headache, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, and irritation of the eye, nose, and throat. During the evaluation, two of the workers were escorted from the site by the NIOSH medical officer because of severe, acute symptoms. The authors recommend measures to bring this operation into agreement with the published guidelines for worker exposure to TCE.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-86-380-1957, 17 pages, 17 references