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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-0040-2510, Kraft General Foods, Inc., Maxwell House Coffee, Co., Houston, Texas.
Burton NC; Shults RA
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 91-0040-2510, 1995 Jun; :1-27
In response to a request received from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, Local Union 408, an investigation was begun into worker exposure to coffee dust, methylene-chloride (75092), asbestos (1332214) dust, phosphine (7803512), and vitamin dust at the Kraft General Foods Inc., Maxwell House Coffee Company (SIC-2095) in Houston, Texas. There were about 550 workers employed at the facility in coffee processing and rice processing. A walk through survey was conducted of the instant coffee and rice production areas and industrial hygiene sampling was also conducted. Asbestos had been removed from the building by 1991, and the use of methylene-chloride had been discontinued before 1988. None of the personal breathing zone or area air concentrations of respirable dust collected in the production areas exceeded the allowable limits for nuisance dust. Based on medical department logs, 4.9% of the workers reported respiratory symptoms suggestive of asthma. Two bronchial asthma deaths were reported in the early 1980s. A statistically significant excess of all malignant neoplasms for white males but not for the other three race/sex groups was noted. Lung cancer was the predominant malignant neoplasm reported. Due to a lack of exposure data it was not possible to link a specific causal agent to the excess cancer deaths for white males in the time period studied. The authors recommend specific measures to improve the work environment.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-0040-2510; Region-6; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Airborne-dusts; Dust-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing-workers; Bronchial-asthma; Cancer-rates; Author Keywords: Roasted Coffee; coffee dust; occupational asthma; phosphine; respirable dust; methylene chloride; proportional mortality ratio; PMR
75-09-2; 1332-21-4; 7803-51-2
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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