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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-371-1989, Technical Assistance to the Jamaican Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica.
Matte TD; Burr GA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 87-371-1989, 1989 Sep; :1-28
In response to a request from the Principal Medical Officer of the Epidemiology Unit in the Jamaican Ministry of Health, an investigation was made of possible hazardous working conditions existing in numerous backyard battery repair shops (BBRS) located in Kingston. Nineteen of 22 children in Kingston hospitalized due to lead (7439921) poisoning lived at or near a BBRS. The geometric mean of the air lead concentrations in the BBRSs sampled was 21 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3). The highest workplace concentration was 66microg/m3 which exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit of 50microg/m3. Soil lead levels were significantly higher at households located at BBRS premises, compared with comparison households. The geometric mean soil lead levels were very high, being 58,884 parts per million, with a range of 16,000 to 400,000ppm. Dust lead levels were higher at exposed households than at comparison households, with 73 percent exceeding 1500 micrograms of lead/square meter of floor (microg/m2), ranging from 190 to 53140microg/m2. In many cases the dust lead content was associated with the number of batteries repaired at the site. Lead was not present in the drinking water samples collected. Blood lead levels were strongly associated with the soil and dust lead levels. The authors conclude that BBRS create a high lead poisoning risk for workers and nearby residents. The authors recommend that establishment of such shops at residential premises should be discouraged. Specific measures for reducing lead exposures are provided.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-371-1989; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Battery-manufacturing-industry; Lead-poisoning; Heavy-metals; Environmental-contamination; Families; Author Keywords: Storage Batteries; lead; blood lead; battery manufacturing; occupational diseases; developing countries; adults; children; environmental contamination
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division