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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-179-2172, National Park Service, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hilo, Hawaii.

Burr GA; Kawamoto MM; Stephenson RL
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 90-179-2172, 1992 Jan; :1-30
In response to a request from the National Park Service, an evaluation was undertaken of possible hazardous exposures to volcanic emissions, both gases and particulates, at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (SIC-7999) on the island of Hawaii in the State of Hawaii. Concerns included exposures to sulfur-dioxide (7446095) (SO2), asphalt decomposition products from burning pavement, acid mists when lava enters the ocean, volcanic caused smog, and Pele's hair (a fibrous glass like material). Two other related requests for study were also received in regard to civil defense workers in these areas. No detectable levels of SO2 were found during long term colorimetric detector tube sampling used to characterize park workers' personal full shift exposures. Short term detector tube samples collected near a naturally occurring sulfur vent showed SO2 levels of 1.2 parts per million (ppm). Work related symptoms reported by more than 50% of the respondents included headache, eye irritation, throat irritation, cough, and phlegm. Chest tightness or wheezing and shortness of breath were also frequently reported. Samples collected for hydrochloric-acid (7647010) and hydrofluoric-acid (7664393) recorded concentrations of up to 15ppm for the former and 1.0ppm for the latter acid. Airborne particulates in the laze plume were comprised largely of chloride salts. Airborne fibers were detected at a concentration of 0.16 fibers per cubic centimeter. The authors conclude that excessive exposure to SO2 can occur at some locations within the park. The authors recommend that workers and visitors to the park be informed of the potential for exposures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-179-2172; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-9; Environmental-contamination; Sulfur-oxides; Acid-mists; Respiratory-system-disorders; Outdoors; Toxic-gases; Author Keywords: Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified; sulfur dioxide; hydrochloric acid; hydrofluoric acid; volcano; asthma; respiratory problems
7446-09-5; 7647-01-0; 7664-39-3
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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