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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-340-2048, National Starch and Chemical Company, Island Falls, Maine.
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 88-340-2048, 1990 Jun; :1-15
In response to a request from the American Federation of Grain Millers an evaluation was made of exposures to propylene-oxide (75569), starch dust, phosphorus-oxychloride (10025873), epichlorohydrin (106898), and the potential explosion hazard from starch dust at the National Starch and Chemical Company (SIC-2046), Island Falls, Maine. There were three work shifts at this facility employing 69 hourly and 19 salaried employees. Propylene-oxide was a major ingredient in the production of speciality tapioca starches. Area propylene-oxide air concentrations ranged from less than 0.1 to 10.7 parts per million (ppm) in 15 samples collected in the reactor room and other areas. Personal breathing zone samples ranged from less than 0.1 to 5.8ppm. The highest personal exposure occurred when an operator did not follow procedures during the pumping of propylene-oxide into a vat. One personal breathing zone sample of epichlorohydrin was 13.2ppm and another was 0.2ppm. Personal breathing zone sample results for starch dust (total nuisance dust) ranged from 3.2 to 18.1mg/m3. Starch was present on surfaces throughout the facility. The author recommends that propylene-oxide concentrations be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration. Airborne and surface starch should be reduced due to the potential fire and explosion hazard.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-340-2048; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Milling-industry; Explosion-prevention; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Food-processing-industry;
75-56-9; 10025-87-3; 106-89-8
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division