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HHE determination report no. HHE-73-138-156, Rheem Manufacturing Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Markel HL Jr.; Polakoff PL
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 73-138-156, 1974 Nov; :1-11
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; Author Keywords: Heat Exchanger Welding; Welding Fumes; Metals
1314-13-2; 1309-37-1; 7440-50-8; 7439-96-5; 630-08-0; 10028-15-6
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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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