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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-1037-2541, Johnson Brothers Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jennison E; Cocalis J
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 93-1037-2541, 1995 Nov; :1-31
In response to a management request from Johnson Brothers Company (SIC-1721), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an investigation was begun into possible health hazards at steel plate sandblasting and painting operations. The company employed about 20 workers in the surface preparation and painting of steel plate water tanks at sites throughout the country. Environmental sampling was perform at two sites in Pennsylvania. Workers were noted to be overexposed to crystalline silica (14808607) during tank interior sandblasting and shoveling operations at the Pike County site. Airborne concentrations of respirable silica during blasting exceeded the recommended exposure limit (REL) from NIOSH by a factor of 300 to 540. An abrasive blasting hood with an assigned protection factor (APF) of only 25 was used. During sand shoveling operations the REL was exceeded by a factor of 94 while the respirator with an APF of only 10 was used. Deficiencies were noted in the respiratory protection and hearing conservation programs at the site. Eleven of the 13 employees at these sites participated in the medical evaluation. Three had abnormal spirometry test results, and an obstructive pattern of abnormalities. The authors conclude that a health hazard existed at the time of the survey due to exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The authors recommend that effective respiratory protection, hearing conservation, and medical surveillance programs be implemented, and a less toxic abrasive blasting material be used.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-1037-2541; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Respiratory-system-disorders; Dust-exposure; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Occupational-exposure; Silica-dusts; Author Keywords: Painting and Paper Hanging; Structural Steel Erection; Silica; Crystalline silica; Pneumoconiosis; Silicosis; Tuberculosis; Respirable Quartz; Sandblasting; Construction; Elemental Metals; Abrasive Blasting; Respirator; Steel-Plate Fabrication; Painting Contractor; Abrasive Blasting Contractor; Water Tank; Noise
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
1721; 1791
Source Name
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