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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0448-2407, Thatcher Tubes Division of Courtaulds U.S., Muscatine, Iowa.
Parker-MG; Buchta-TM; Burr-GA
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 93-0448-2407, 1994 Mar; :1-16
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, an investigation was begun of exposure in the press area of the plastic tube department at Thatcher Tubes (SIC-3084), Muscatine, Iowa, a division of Courtaulds US. The request had been prompted by worker complaints of skin and respiratory sensitization to emissions from the plastic tube printing and curing operations. The company manufactured plastic squeeze tubes, employing about 300 workers over three shifts. Ultraviolet (UV) cured inks were used in the press area. Levels of methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK) were well below recommended limits, ranging from 7.2 to 18.5 parts per million (ppm). Levels of methyl-isobutyl-ketone (108101) (MIBK), ethanol (64175), isopropanol (67630), and toluene (108883) were also below the suggested limits. Ozone (10028156) and trimethylolpropane- triacrylate (15625895) (TMPTA) were not detected. No cases of respiratory sensitization were identified. Several cases of contact dermatitis were noted during the period from 1989 through 1993. The authors conclude that no specific exposure in the UV coating process clearly accounted for reported symptoms. The authors recommend that appropriate protective gloves be used, and that safety equipment including eye wash stations and showers be installed. Tobacco products should not be used in areas where employees may be exposed to chemical substances.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0448-2407; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-7; Plastics-industry; Organic-solvents; Alcohols; Printing-inks; Containers; Contact-dermatitis;
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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