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An outbreak of chromium ulcer in a manufacturing plant.
Deng F; Fleeger AK; Sinks T
Vet Hum Toxicol 1990 Apr; 32(2):142-146
In response to a request from management at a manufacturing facility, an investigation was made of possible hazardous health conditions among workers who had been experiencing an outbreak of hand ulceration and skin discoloration. The facility manufactured kitchen ranges and employed about 633 hourly workers. The affected employees worked in the enamel department, where metallic range tops were coated with a ground coat or sprayed with an enamel coloring and then baked at 1200 degrees-F. Ten enamel department workers who developed chromium (7440473) ulcers between January and June of 1988 were identified. Ulcers were on the hands, forearms, periumbilical area and/or axillae. Workers who handled conveyer hooks used to suspend range tops as they passed through the oven were at greatest risk. Workers who wore gloves were protected from developing ulcers. The enamel used contained only trivalent chromium, but analysis of the hooks revealed the presence of hexavalent chromium likely formed during the baking process. A mechanical failure of the oven resulted in the formation of sharp edges on the parts and consequently caused abrasions of the exposed skin. The authors recommend specific measures to correct the situation and protect the workers from additional exposures.
NIOSH-Author; Hexavalent-chromium-compounds; Chromium-compounds; Assembly-line-workers; Skin-exposure; Hand-injuries; Hand-protection; Industrial-factory-workers; Occupational-exposure
Issue of Publication
Veterinary and Human Toxicology
Page last reviewed: May 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division