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Industrial hygiene characterization of grain elevator workers' exposures to phosphine during bulk grain fumigation with aluminum phosphide.
Zaebst DD; Blade LM; Morelli-Schroth P; Woodfin WJ; Burroughs GE
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 149-5, 1987 May; :1-67
A series of industrial hygiene surveys was conducted in 1985 and 1986 to assess worker exposures to phosphine (7803512) gas during the addition of aluminum-phosphide (20859738) pellets to wheat prior to and during long term storage. Monitoring revealed that the use of aluminum-phosphide can result in excessive exposures when compared to relevant criteria, even under very cold air temperatures. Exposure levels ranged up to 1.6 parts per million (ppm) for full shift personnel, which was more than five times the OSHA permissible exposure limit of 0.3ppm. Filling and emptying an automatic tablet dispenser produced short term exposures as high as 52ppm. High ambient concentrations of phosphine were found near automatic tablet dispensers. Part of the exposure was due to uncontrolled point sources and to the lack of appropriate local exhaust ventilation. There was also a direct exposure relationship to the amount of fumigation being performed. The authors recommend specific measures for improving the ventilation systems at work and for correcting several work practices.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; IWS-149-5; Grain-elevators; Air-quality-monitoring; Toxic-gases; Agricultural-chemicals; Fumigants; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-exposure
Field Studies; Industry Wide
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division