HHE Report No. HETA-91-338-2187, IMC Corporation, Sterlington, Louisiana.
In response to a request from an authorized representative of the Construction and General Laborers Union, Local 762, an investigation was made of potential hazards for asbestos abatement contract workers at IMC Corporation, (SIC-2869), Sterlington, Louisiana. The IMC facility consisted of two ammonia facilities, a nitroparaffin (NP) facility, and a NP derivatives facility. An explosion occurred on May 1, 1991 in the NP facility, caused by a faulty compressor. During the post explosion renovation activities, an asbestos abatement firm was working on site due to the large amounts of asbestos (1332214) insulation which had been disturbed by the explosion. Records indicated that several workers complained of ill effects and odors on June 17 and 19. The incidents were investigated but no chemical exposure explanation was found. Routine and complaint based industrial hygiene monitoring was primarily area monitoring and not substance specific. Of the 25 workers interviewed, 22 had symptoms they felt were related to their work at IMC. The symptoms included those of the upper respiratory tract, central nervous system, and gastrointestinal system. The most common included diarrhea, nausea, headache, dizziness, and cough, each experienced by significantly more than half the subjects. The symptoms could not be linked conclusively to any specific chemical release, job task, work location, or food or drink source.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-91-338-2187, 24 pages, 15 references