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HHE Report No. HETA-88-391-2156, Morton Salt Company, Weeks Island, Louisiana.
Ferguson RP; Knutti EB
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 88-391-2156, 1991 Nov; :1-42
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, project director, an evaluation was undertaken of possible hazardous working conditions at the Morton Salt Company (SIC-1479), Weeks Island, Louisiana. At Weeks Island the salt was mined from large domes, circular in shape and from a few hundred yards to a mile across. The only detectable overexposures in the mining operation were to coal-tar pitch volatiles. None of the 20 personal breathing zone and area air samples collected in the mill were above detectable limits for asbestos (1332214). The prevalences of chronic cough and chronic phlegm reported were statistically different, exceeding those reported by a group of nonexposed blue collar workers. Chronic symptoms were reported by underground workers in all smoking categories, but only by those surface workers who also smoked. There were more complaints about eye irritation and tearing of the eyes in the underground workers, consistent with diesel byproduct exposure. Four workers were identified through pulmonary function test results with mild obstructive lung disease and one with moderate obstructive lung disease. Three workers with mild restriction of lung volume were noted. None of the 61 chest films taken read positively for pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that overexposures to coal-tar pitch volatiles existed at the time of the survey. The authors recommend measures for reducing occupational exposures to workplace contaminants. A follow up medical questionnaire survey should be conducted.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-391-2156; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-6; Mining-industry; Miners; Combustion-products; Underground-miners; Occupational-exposure
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