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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-267-2276, Miles, Inc., Elkhart, Indiana.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 88-267-2276, 1992 Dec; :1-28
In response to a request from the Director of Health Services for the United Steel Workers of America, an investigation was undertaken of employees complaints of irritated eyes, skin and respiratory tract when working with certain enzymes at Miles, Inc. (SIC-2869), Elkhart, Indiana. The Miles Enzyme Facility produced industrial/commercial grade enzymes. A medical evaluation and an industrial hygiene evaluation were conducted. The medical part of the study involved 36 of the workers (65% of the total work force). Fifteen people had two or more symptoms associated with an allergic reaction. Nine persons had two or more symptoms associated with a flu like condition. At the time of the environmental survey, most of the samples taken did not detect the presence of the enzymes in production. Process operators were four times more likely than other workers to be immunologically sensitized to one or more of the materials tested. They were ten times more likely to have a mild obstruction and/or mild restriction. Eight workers were found to be immunologically sensitized to one or more tested antigen. Three workers with significant allergic symptoms while at work were advised that continued exposure could result in increasing severity of symptoms. The authors conclude that employees with positive immunoglobulin-E or skin tests may be at increased risk of becoming symptomatic over time. The authors recommend that workplace exposure to allergenic substances be reduced, and medical monitoring instituted.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-267-2276; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Allergic-reactions; Respiratory-system-disorders; Occupational-exposure; Immunological-tests; Chemical-industry-workers;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division