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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-371-1986, 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 87-371-1986, 1989 Sep; :1-44
In response to a request from the Principal Medical Officer of the Epidemiology Unit in the Jamaican Ministry of Health, a study was made of lead exposure at three battery manufacturing facilities (SIC- 3691) in Kingston, Jamaica: Tropical Battery with approximately 30 production workers, Apex Battery with 12 workers, and Unistate Battery with five production workers. Each of the three companies was in the process of conducting limited medical screening of their production workers. Full shift personal breathing zone air samples for lead ranged from 40 to 5300 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3), from 50 to 3400microg/m3, and from 30 to 190microg/m3 at the three locations, respectively. Operations with the highest lead exposures included the plate separator and battery assembly and they exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit of 50microg/m3. Blood samples indicated blood lead levels in seven of 29 employees at Tropical were over the recommended medical removal level of 50 micrograms/deciliter (microg/dl) and that 17 of 29 had levels of 40microg/dl or greater. For the Apex facility the blood lead levels in nine of 12 workers were 60microg/dl or greater. Blood samples from three of four production employees tested at Unistate exceeded 60microg/dl. The authors conclude that a high risk of lead toxicity existed among workers at the battery manufacturers surveyed. The authors recommend that general and local exhaust ventilation should be provided, work practices altered to reduce lead exposure, and respiratory protection programs should be implemented.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-371-1986; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Lead-poisoning; Heavy-metals; Occupational-exposure; Battery-manufacturing-industry; Air-quality-monitoring; Author Keywords: Storage Batteries; lead; blood lead; battery manufacturing; occupational diseases; developing countries; adults
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division