NIOSH Testimony on Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, UT by J. R. Froines, April 10, 1979.
This testimony concerned possible hazardous working conditions at the Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah. A NIOSH team visited the Base between April 27 and May 2 of 1978 to determine whether there was a problem in Building 100. The Air Force had requested the assistance of NIOSH concerning the apparently high number of cancer cases among workers. There were about 800 employees working in Building 100 at the time of the survey; most were engaged in the repair and overhaul of optical, electronic and electromechanical systems. A large number of solvents were used throughout this building along with other chemicals associated with paint stripping and spraying, soldering, and silk screening. The study indicated there had been occupational safety and health problems at this site in the past including the mishandling of solvents and lack of employee participation in safety and health issues. Although the number of cancer cases reported in former and current employees was lower than would be expected, there appeared to be a high proportion of cases of cancer of the blood and blood forming organs, and malignant myelomas. The Air Force was encouraged to work at establishing a good occupational health program at the base to protect current employees and maintain adequate records for future studies. Other recommendations included the analysis of cancer cases using the Utah State Cancer Registry, the collection of industrial hygiene data to determine compliance with standards and characterize exposure for future health effects studies, the identification of trade name chemical constituents, the improvement of the current medical monitoring program, conducting prospective or cross sectional medical studies, conducting a thorough investigation of employee grievances, and improvement of inspections at the base.