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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-108-2146, ASARCO New Market/Young Mines, Mascot, Tennessee.
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 88-108-2146, 1991 Oct; :1-54
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, Akron, Ohio, an investigation was made into possible hazardous working conditions at two American Smelting and Refining Company (SIC-1031) zinc mines (New Market and Young) in Mascot, Tennessee. Specifically, exposures to asbestos (1332214), silica (14808607), and diesel emissions were determined. At both mines overexposures were found to nitrogen-dioxide (10102440) (NO2) and coal-tar pitch volatiles. Twenty four percent of the NO2 measurements taken were above the NIOSH recommended ceiling of 1 part per million (ppm), but none exceeded the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) ceiling of 5ppm. Exposure to diesel particulates ranged from 0.24 to 1.06mg/m3. None of the 52 respirable dust samples collected exceeded the calculated MSHA limits for free silica exposure. A medical evaluation was offered and 83 of the 400 current employees and one retired employee participated. Seven underground employees were found with small opacity readings of greater than 1/0. Pulmonary function tests indicated that four employees had moderate airway obstruction, 17 had mild obstruction and two had mild restriction of lung volume. Three with obstructive lung disease pattern also had positive radiographs for pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that workers were overexposed to coal-tar pitch volatiles and NO2; radiographic and pulmonary function test results suggest that a chronic respiratory health effect may be related to cumulative workplace exposures. The authors recommend measures for lowering the exposures and the development of a medical surveillance program.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-108-2146; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-4; Mining-industry; Miners; Respiratory-system-disorders; Combustion-products; Underground-mining; Lung-disease; Occupational-exposure; Toxic-gases;
1332-21-4; 14808-60-7; 10102-44-0
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