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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0402-2573, Xerox Corporation, Webster, New York.

Cook CK; Friedman 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 94-0402-2573, 1996 Apr; :1-9
In response to a request from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 71, an investigation was made into possible hazardous working conditions at the Xerox Corporation (SIC-3861, SIC- 3443), Webster, New York. Concern was expressed regarding the exposure to a biocide containing isothiazolinones during maintenance activities in water cooling towers at the Xerox powerplant. Workers had reported cases of dermatitis and skin rash associated with occupational exposure to the biocide. The powerplant at the Xerox facility employed about 62 workers on three shifts. Workers at the powerplant were responsible for providing general maintenance duties on the water cooling towers. Of the 22 towers on site, 18 were treated with biocide. Full shift personal breathing zone samples did not reveal the presence of chlorinated or unchlorinated isothiazolinones. An area air sample taken above a biocide storage tank for 15 minutes revealed an isothiazolinone concentration of 0.92mg/m3. Of the 31 respondents to a questionnaire on medical experiences, 74% reported they had at least one of the acute symptoms of skin, eyes, and respiratory irritation while working with biocides. The authors conclude that there was a potential for a short term overexposure to biocides at this site. The authors recommend that workers use appropriate personal protective equipment during water cooling tower maintenance activities.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0402-2573; Region-2; Hazard-Confirmed; Maintenance-workers; Cooling-towers; Skin-disorders; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: Photocopy machines; isothiazolinones; biocide; water cooling tower; skin irritation; respiratory irritation; eye irritation; power plant
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
3861; 3443
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