HHE Determination Report No. HHE-73-138-156, Rheem Manufacturing Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Markel-r; L-HL; Polakoff-PL
NIOSH 1974 Nov:11 pages
In response to a request by an employee representative to evaluate potential hazards associated with exposures to fumes and vapors in the heat exchanger welding area, a health hazard evaluation was conducted at Rheem Manufacturing Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas. The company manufactured central air conditioners, gas furnaces, electronic air cleaners, and combined gas heating and electrical cooling units. The evaluation consisted of an initial walk through/medical survey and an environmental survey. The environmental survey measured ambient air and breathing zone exposures to zinc-oxide (1314132), iron-oxide (1309371), and copper (7440508) fumes, manganese (7439965), carbon-monoxide (630080), nitrogen oxides, and ozone (10028156). Noise levels were also measured. The medical survey which involved interviewing 30 persons employed in various welding tasks produced no reports of significant work related symptoms or respiratory problems. All zinc-oxide, iron- oxide, and copper fume, manganese, carbon-monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone exposures were well below their relevant standards. Examination of the existing local exhaust system found that the air velocities were generally inadequate to capture fumes emitted during the various welding operations. Thirteen of 21 noise exposure levels were found to exceed the NIOSH recommended standard of 85 decibels- A. The authors conclude that employees working in the heat exchanger welding area are not exposed to toxic levels of welding fumes, carbon-monoxide, nitrogen oxides, or ozone. The authors recommend that improvements be made in the local exhaust ventilation system, and conduct all welding operations inside appropriate booths. Improved hearing protection devices should be made available to the employees in place of the foam rubber types observed in cases where engineering or administrative controls are not possible.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Region-6; HHE-73-138-156; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Metallic-fumes; Occupational-exposure; Welders; Metal-oxides; Industrial-hygiene; Industrial-factory-workers; Noise-exposure; Exhaust-ventilation;
1314-13-2; 1309-37-1; 7440-50-8; 7439-96-5; 630-08-0; 10028-15-6;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluation Services Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HHE-73-138-156, 11 pages