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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-89-318-2273, Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company, Chicago, Illinois.

Reh CM; Bernard B
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 89-318-2273, 1992 Nov; :1-25
In response to a request from the Gas Workers Union Local 18007, an investigation was undertaken of possible exposure of workers to methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK) and 4,4'-dimethylmethane- diisocyanate (101688) (MDI) in compounds used to encapsulate joints in underground natural gas mains at the Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company (SIC-4932), Chicago, Illinois. Air sampling was conducted above and below road level for MEK, MDI, and MDI polyisocyanate. MEK detected below road level ranged from none to 126.4 parts per million (ppm). MEK exposures above road level ranged from less than 0.3ppm to 2.0ppm. Area air samples contained MEK at levels of 12.7 to 511.8ppm. Two area air samples for MDI and MDI polyisocyanate were collected at each application site. No MDI or MDI polyisocyanate was detected in any of the samples. Of the 21 employees interviewed, 12 reported eye, nose and throat irritation while using the paint primer. None of those interviewed indicated that he had been fit tested or properly trained to wear respiratory equipment. The latex gloves provided were not adequate to protect the workers from skin exposure to the liquid chemicals in the system. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard existed during the installation of the encapsulation systems below road level. The authors recommend that measures be taken to reduce respiratory and dermal exposures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-89-318-2273; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Isocyanates; Ketones; Occupational-exposure; Inhalants; Skin-exposure; Gas-industry; Author Keywords: Utilities, Gas & Other Services; Utilities, Electric & Other Services; methyl ethyl ketone; MEK; 4,4'-diphenylmethane diisocyanate; MDI; MDI polyisocyanate; natural gas mains; joint encapsulation systems; acute exposure hazards
78-93-3; 101-68-8
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
4932; 4931
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division