Health hazard evaluation report no. HETA-88-077-1969, Consolidated Freightways, Peru, Illinois.
In response to a request from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America a study was made of possible hazardous working conditions at Consolidated Freightways (SIC-4213), Peru, Illinois. The dock workers were complaining of respiratory tract and eye irritation, the production of black colored mucus or phlegm, other respiratory difficulties, and headaches. The night shift was experiencing the most difficulties; this was the time when operations were heaviest. The function of this terminal was to receive large, long distance loads, and break them down into smaller, short distance loads. The workers used forklift trucks to move cargo. Workers were exposed to diesel engine exhaust emissions, particularly during cold weather as the engines were left running to avoid difficult start up problems. Airborne exposures were below recommended limits for all materials tested with the possible exception of the benzene extractable fraction of diesel particulate. A self administered questionnaire was completed by 115 workers concerning their medical status. The authors conclude that the irritative effects described were consistent with exposure to diesel exhaust. The authors recommend that efforts be made to reduce or eliminate emissions from diesel forklifts trucks, improve ventilation, and provide washing and clothes changing facilities.