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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-336-2038, A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, Houlton, 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 88-336-2038, 1990 Apr; :1-18
In response to a request from the American Federation of Grain Millers, a study was made of exposures to propylene-oxide (75569), starch dust, phosphorus-oxychloride (10025873), and the potential explosion hazard from starch dust at the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company (SIC-2046), Houlton, Maine. The facility was a food starch speciality factory with imported tapioca as the main raw material. The site employed 44 hourly and seven salaried and clerical full time persons. Propylene-oxide air concentrations ranged from less than 0.1 to 6.0 parts per million (ppm) in 89 samples collected in the reactor room and other areas of the site. Twenty six personal breathing zone samples were collected from two operators and a laboratory technician on two work shifts over 3 consecutive days. The operators had 8 hour time weighted average exposures ranging from 0.1 to 0.7ppm. The highest short term exposure was 1.9ppm for 77 minutes. The laboratory technician had exposures from less than 12.51mg/m3; the OSHA permissible exposure limit for nuisance dust was 10mg/m3. In many locations starch dust was seen on the surfaces as well as in the air. The author concludes that detectable levels of propylene-oxide were present in the reactor room and other areas of the facility; exposure should be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration. The starch dust is a potential fire and explosion hazard. The author recommends that starch dust emissions into the work area should be reduced to the lowest feasible level.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-336-2038; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Milling-industry; Explosion-prevention; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Food-processing-industry;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division