Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-185-L2088, General Foods, Post Division, Modesto, California.
In response to a request from an employee at the General Foods Company Post Division, located in Modesto, California, a visit was made to the facility to investigate complaints of dirty air, lack of ventilation, and symptoms of headache, fatigue and respiratory illness at the site. The facility employed about 150 hourly workers and 20 salaried employees. There were four production lines, one for Kool Aid dry beverage mix, and three for breakfast cereals. Two operators in the cereal blending and milling area had total dust exposures of 0.38 and 1.7mg/m3, well below the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Value of 10mg/m3. The Helper who was working the Kool Aid processing line had quite a high exposure at 49.3mg/m3 during the rework operation. This was a dusty operation where the ventilation appeared to be inadequate. The operator at the Mixing Station for Kool Aid Pre Mix wore a dust respirator during the batch preparation, where the dust exposure was 6.1mg/m3. The authors conclude that the Kool Aid line was quite dusty, and the rework stations were sources of high short term exposures to dust. The authors recommend specific measures to reduce exposures, and improve ventilation. The facility should develop a comprehensive respirator program.