HHE Report No. HETA-88-391-2156, Morton Salt Company, Weeks Island, Louisiana. Revised.
NIOSH 1993 Apr:34 pages
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, an investigation was made of exposures to asbestos (1332214) and diesel emissions at the Morton Salt Company (SIC-1479), Weeks Island, Louisiana. A walk through survey, and medical and environmental evaluations were conducted at the mine and mill. Diesel equipment was used in the mine. Sub micron particulate exposures ranged from 0.31 to 1.32mg/m3. The most significant source of particulates was diesel exhaust. None of the 20 personal breathing zone or area air samples collected in the mill exceeded limits for asbestos. An increased prevalence of chronic cough and phlegm was reported by workers. Chronic symptoms were reported by underground workers in all smoking categories, but only by those surface workers who also smoked. More complaints of eye irritation and tearing of the eyes were noted in underground workers, consistent with diesel byproduct exposure. Pulmonary function studies indicated that four workers had mild obstructive lung disease and one had moderate obstructive lung disease. Three workers with mild restriction of lung volume were also noted. None of the 61 chest films taken was positive for pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that a potential hazard existed from exposure to diesel exhaust. The authors recommend that occupational exposures to workplace contaminants be reduced. A follow up medical questionnaire survey should be conducted after the implementation of exposure controls.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-391-2156; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-6; Mining-industry; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Mineral-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Diesel-emissions;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance;
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-88-391-2156, 34 pages, 24 references