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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-362-2105, Gannett-Rochester Newspaper, Rochester, New York.
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 90-362-2105, 1991 Apr; :1-11
In response to a request from an authorized employee representative, an evaluation was made of potential mercury (7439976) exposure at Gannett-Rochester Newspaper (SIC-2711), Rochester, New York. Particular concern was expressed with regard to inorganic mercury exposure to operators of the photo laser machines. During the evaluation, general samples for air and personal breathing zone samples for inorganic mercury and dust were collected. Airborne mercury concentrations ranged from nondetectable to 15 micrograms per cubic meter. The highest levels were found during the record and heating modes, but were below the current limits of exposure. Samples of unprocessed paper showed 230 micrograms/gram (microg/g) of sample for inorganic mercury content. Paper dust inside the machine contained 91microg/g while the dust from the outside fan had a concentration of 6.8microg/g. There was a potential for mercury exposure during the handling of the paper and the dust. The author concludes that the mercury levels found around the photo laser machines do not constitute a long or short term health hazard to employees working with or around the machines. However, working directly with the paper and dust inside the photo laser machine has the potential for higher exposure because of possible skin absorption of mercury. The author recommends that nitrile rubber gloves should be worn while cleaning the photo laser machine oven, removing paper dust from inside the machine, and restocking the paper.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-362-2105; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-2; Publishing-and-printing; Heavy-metals; Skin-exposure; Occupational-exposure;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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