Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-79-034-1440, Intex Plastics, Corinth, Mississippi.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 79-034-1440, 1984 Mar; :1-52
In response to a request from the president of the United Rubber Workers, Local 759, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Hatco Plastics Division, currently known as Intex Plastics (SIC-3079), Corinth, Mississippi. The request indicated that several production and maintenance employees at that site had been disabled due to chemical poisoning and related illnesses. A medical survey was begun at the facility in March of 1979. Fifty employees participated by completing a questionnaire. A high prevalence of eye, nose, and throat irritation was found along with shortness of breath, cough, and skin rash among workers assigned to the Calender, Color, and Laminating Departments. Air sampling was performed in several departments. Except for methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) (MEK), the levels of substances detected were quite low. The department with the highest exposure to airborne contaminants included the Print Service with 36 to 299 parts per million (ppm) MEK, laminating at 74 to 105ppm MEK, printing at 15 to 113ppm MEK, color at 15 to 24ppm MEK, premix at 0.3 to 6.8mg/m3 total dust, and calender at 0.1 to 0.6mg/m3 total dust. Workers in certain departments reported higher levels of some respiratory symptoms, but impaired pulmonary function was not seen in pulmonary function tests. The author concludes that only two departments had high solvent vapor exposures, and plastic fumes and vapors were controlled by existing ventilation. Many of the recommendations made for reducing solvent vapor exposures were implemented.
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