HHE Report No. HETA-88-0119-2345, Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Puuene, Hawaii; Hamakua Sugar Plantation, Honakaa, Hawaii.
Sinks-TH; Hartle-RW; Boeniger-MF; Mannino-DM
NIOSH 1993 Aug:45 pages
In response to a request from the Hawaii Department of Health, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (SIC-0133), Puuene, and the Hamakua Sugar Plantation, Honakaa. Of particular concern was the possibility that chronic respiratory diseases were related to smoke containing biogenic silica fibers (BSF). BSF exposure was evaluated and a case/control study of mesothelioma and BSF exposure was pursued using records from the Hawaii Tumor Registry to identify subjects. Exposure to BSF was recorded for equipment operators involved in moving sugarcane into the mill. The air concentrations of inorganic fibers ranged from 1,200 to 8,350 fibers/cubic meter (f/m3). Rake operators had the highest exposure of field workers, ranging from 1,250 to 56,280f/m3. Asbestos (1332214) was detected in air samples from machinists, mechanics and operators of planting machinery with the highest concentration being 0.77f/cubic centimeter. In the medical study of 355 sugarcane workers, neither respiratory symptoms or chest X-ray abnormalities were associated with BSF exposure. The authors conclude that no association was found between occupational exposure to BSF and respiratory symptoms, X-ray signs of chronic lung disease or mesothelioma. At the time of the survey, mill workers were exposed to asbestos. The authors recommend measures to decrease the exposure to asbestos at these sites.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-0119-2345; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-9; Asbestos-fibers; Fibrous-dusts; Agricultural-industry; Sugar-industry; Respiratory-system-disorders; Combustion-products; Silica-dusts;
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-88-0119-2345, 45 pages, 44 references