NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-311-2087, Penick Corporation, Newark, New Jersey.
Klincewicz S; Fidler AT; Siwinski G; Fleeger A
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 87-311-2087, 1990 Nov; :1-59
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union to evaluate symptoms of headache, nausea, and respiratory symptoms among workers, an investigation was begun of possible hazardous working conditions at the Penick Corporation (SIC-2833), Newark, New Jersey. This company produced morphine, codeine, synthetic and semisynthetic narcotics from the raw materials gum opium and poppy straw concentrate. Industrial hygiene monitoring detected substantial exposures to alkaloid dusts throughout the building. A concentration as high as 23,564 micrograms/cubic meter was detected in a short term sample collected during the hand scooping of dry powder. Over exposures were detected to toluene (108883), butanol (71363), methanol (67561), and ethanol (64175) during short term episodic jobs. Thirty two current employees participated in a study of immunologic parameters. A significant decrease in morphine-6-hemisuccinate/human serum albumin immunoglobulin-G antibody levels was noted in 21 workers who submitted blood specimens during both test periods. Narcotic production workers had greater reactivity to most of the compounds on a quantitative skin prick test with opiates. The authors conclude that workers at Penick Corporation developed asthma from occupational exposure to narcotic dusts. The authors recommend that exposures to narcotic dusts and solvents be reduced, and that workers with suspected work related illnesses be evaluated.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-311-2087; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-2; Pharmaceutical-industry; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Immune-reaction; Hypersensitivity; Author Keywords: Medicinal Chemicals and Botanical Products; Pharmaceutical Preparations; occupational asthma; morphine; atopy; narcotic dusts; immunology
108-88-3; 71-36-3; 67-56-1; 64-17-5
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division