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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-89-252-293-2178, Chempower, Incorporated, Combustion Engineering, Incorporated, Albright Power Station, Albright, West Virginia.

Almaguer D; Burt S; Stephenson R
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 89-252-293-2178, 1992 Feb; :1-37
An evaluation was conducted in response to two requests from the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB), Local 667 concerning an outbreak of acute illness among workers involved in a renovation and asbestos removal project on a boiler at the Albright Power Station (SIC-1542), Albright, West Virginia, and worker exposure to heavy metals during another phase of the boiler renovation. In the outbreak of illness, symptoms were reported which were similar to metal fume fever. Of the 36 workers interviewed, 15 met the case definition of possible work related illness defined by the presence of at least three of these symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, chills, headache, nausea, and bloody sputum. Elevated blood mercury (7439976) levels were found in 11 of 19 workers seeking medical care. Workers who were burning through the heavy metal boiler casting with oxyacetylene torches appeared more likely to become ill and have elevated blood mercury levels. The paint on the boiler may have contained mercury. The type of respirators used were not sufficient to protect against sulfur-dioxide (7446095) or mercury. The authors conclude that, based on epidemiologic evidence, the reported illnesses may have been work related. During oxyacetylene cutting of a boiler casing, airborne arsenic (7440382), iron (7439896), and lead (7439921) exceeded the evaluation criteria. The authors recommend that all potential hazards should be evaluated prior to beginning abatement and renovation activities.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-89-252-293-2178; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Lead-poisoning; Mercury-poisoning; Blood-analysis; Welding-industry; Occupational-exposure; Asbestos-removal; Heavy-metals; Author Keywords: General Contractors; Electric Services; nonclassifiable; lead; mercury; heavy metals; sulfur dioxide; boilermakers; oxyacetylene cutting; electrical power plant
7439-97-6; 7446-09-5; 7440-38-2; 7439-89-6; 7439-92-1
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
1542; 4911; 9999
Source Name
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