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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-375-2334, Champion International, Bucksport, Maine.

Seitz TA; Parker JE; Tubbs RL; Martinez KF
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 90-375-2334, 1993 Jul; :1-39
In response to a request from employees, an investigation was begun into chemical exposures at Champion International Corporation (SIC- 2621), Bucksport, Maine. Two mill employees had died and other employees had worsening medical conditions. Champion manufactured lightweight coated magazine stock and employed about 1250 workers at this site. The facility operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A carpenter in kraft facilities and pulp mills, and a worker in the pulp lab had died of coronary artery disease and systemic vasculitis, respectively. Two other employees developed acute respiratory symptoms while working in Tower 3. The source of exposure was not identified, but the diagnosis was of toxic inhalation. Testing for thermophilic actinomycetes showed that the highest concentrations were found in Tower 3 and in the A-frame building. Cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis were not identified from the review of medical records. Water samples did not contain volatile organic chemicals or trace elements exceeding maximum permissible levels. The three control booths were very efficient in reducing potentially hazardous noise exposures. The authors conclude that this evaluation did not identify a specific health outcome which would suggest the need for further study. Potential exposures to noise, heat and thermophilic actinomycetes were identified. The authors recommend that a comprehensive heat stress management program be developed, that the hearing conservation program be improved, and that exposures to thermophilic actinomycetes be reduced.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-375-2334; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Paper-manufacturing-industry; Noise-exposure; Microorganisms; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Heat-stress; Author Keywords: Paper mills; paper making; paper mill; wood; magazine; noise; heat; bioaerosol; thermophilic actinomycetes
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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