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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-075-2298, Boston Edison Company, Boston, Massachusetts.
Venable-HL; Moss-CE; Connon-CL; Kinnes-GM; Freund-E
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 90-075-2298, 1993 Apr; :1-61
In response to a request from the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 377, an evaluation was conducted of smoke, gases and other unknown potentially toxic substances present in underground utility vaults at the Boston Edison Company (SIC-4911), Boston, Massachusetts. Blood lead (7439921) levels were determined in workers and ranged from less than 5 to 43 micrograms/deciliter. Surface wipe and air samples from the vaults were analyzed for lead. Airborne lead concentrations ranged from 0.22 to 17 micrograms per cubic meter. Wipe samples taken from work surfaces, clothing, and hands had lead concentrations ranging from nondetectable to 9.3 milligrams per sample. Potentially hazardous work practices were observed in and around the underground utility vaults including the handling of molten lead in uncovered containers; use of infrequently calibrated gas detection meters; the generation of smoke, gases, and vapors during cable slicing operations; poor housekeeping practices; cramped working conditions; and working on uneven working surfaces. The authors conclude that potential safety hazards existed during work within the utility vaults. Blood lead levels in several workers exceeded the public health service goal of 25 micrograms/deciliter. The authors recommend changes to the basic health and safety practices for work in underground utility vaults.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-075-2298; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Lead-poisoning; Electrical-workers; Confined-spaces; Occupational-exposure; Work-practices; Air-contamination;
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