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Investigation into an outbreak of rashes in a wax coating treatment process.
Halton DM; Piersol P
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1994 Dec; 9(12):941-944
The resolution of an outbreak of rashes in a wax treatment facility was described. The importance of literature searches in resolving problems was underlined. The company in the study manufactured paper cups; a thin coat of wax was applied to the cups during the process. Workers on the treater line were responsible for checking the effectiveness of the application process and packaging the cups at the end of the process. Employees working in the treater line reported rashes. The approach used to resolve the rash outbreak involved a review of the background and previous work of the company, an extensive literature search, data evaluation, formulation of a hypothesis, and recommendation of solutions. Employees at the treater line reported that sweating was common, and that the area around the treater line was hot even during the winter months. Two literature reports indicated that petroleum wax caused rashes and dermatitis, and the problems were resolved by separating out the treater lines across a greater floor area in the facility. Wax vapor was then removed by at least two ceiling fans and resulted in a reduction of the incidence of rashes. The report was the only one of a substantial outbreak of rashes caused by pure petroleum wax exposure, and also indicated that petroleum wax vapor in combination with heat was a potent skin irritant. The author concludes that one of the most effective and rapid methods to resolving industrial hygiene problems involves the application of what is already known.
Hot-environments; Industrial-factory-workers; Petroleum-products; Protective-coatings; Employee-exposure; Industrial-hygiene; Skin-disorders
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: October 4, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division