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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0297-2396, Exxon Chemical Company, Pottsville Film Plant, Polyethylene Film Department, Mar-Lin, Pennsylvania.
Burkhart JE; Jennison EA
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 92-0297-2396, 1994 Feb; :1-21
In response to a request from the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Exxon Chemical Company Pottsville Film Plant (SIC-3081), Mar-Lin, Pennsylvania. Particular attention was directed toward workers in the polyethylene department regarding complaints of respiratory problems, skin irritation, noise, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This department employed 53 workers, with an average of 15.5 years of service. A medical survey and an environmental survey were conducted. While there was no medical evidence of any long term adverse health effects associated with the work in this department, irritant symptoms were reported which could result from the exposures. Formaldehyde (50000) was detected above the allowable limit of 0.016 parts per million in three area air samples. Trace amounts of hydrocarbons were detected. The authors conclude that there was a potential for exposure to formaldehyde. The authors recommend that environmental monitoring and medical surveillance programs be continued at the company and that all process technicians receive periodic training on the company's safety critical procedure of Removing Stagnant Bubble Air. It may be necessary to require the use of full face respiratory protection when working with or near bubble breaks.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0297-2396; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Plastics-industry; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Industrial-hygiene; Author Keywords: Unsupported Plastic Film and Sheets; formaldehyde; acrolein; hydrocarbons; blown film; polyethylene
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division