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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0198-2443, Rubbermaid, Inc., Wooster, Ohio.

Burton NC; Trout D
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 94-0198-2443, 1994 Aug; :1-47
In response to a request from the management of Rubbermaid (SIC- 3089), Wooster, Ohio, an investigation was begun into possible health effects in workers in the Blow Mold and Plastics departments. Specific symptoms reported included skin rash, facial swelling, and upper respiratory irritation. The facility manufactured a variety of plastic household products. Current work practices, engineering controls, material safety data sheets, and company medical records were reviewed. Industrial hygiene sampling was conducted. During production, three employees were observed to develop skin reactions while making black garbage cans in the Blow Mold Department. Two developed raised, red lesions, one after working on Blow Mold machine number 7 for only 5 minutes. The other worked for 1 hour on the same machine before developing a rash. The third worker developed a flat, red rash. Review of the medical records indicated that seven employees had at last one visit to the nursing department for allergic reactions while working with the black garbage cans. No mechanical ventilation system was found in the Blow Mold department and little air movement was detected. The authors conclude that a small number of workers developed skin reactions to an agent, possibly an antioxidant, used in the production of black garbage cans. The authors recommend that another antioxidant be substituted, and that ventilation should be improved in the Blow Mold department. Workers demonstrating skin reactions should not work in those areas known to initiate or exacerbate their condition.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0198-2443; Region-5; Skin-exposure; Hazard-Confirmed; Skin-irritants; Allergic-dermatitis; Occupational-exposure; Ventilation-systems; Plastics-industry; Author Keywords: Plastic Products, Not Elsewhere Classified; Urticarial reactions; polyethylene; carbon black; Irganox B 900; antioxidant; limonene
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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