Exposures and health effects: An evaluation of workers at a sodium azide production plant.
Trout-D; Esswein-EJ; Hales-T; Brown-K; Solomon-G; Miller-M
Am J Ind Med 1996 Sep; 30(3):343-350
The effects of occupational exposure to sodium-azide (26628228) in the automotive industry were considered. The cross sectional evaluation consisted of a sodium-azide production facility hygiene survey, a symptoms questionnaire, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and blood azide analysis. The ten operators at work on the days of the study and one maintenance worker participated in the medical evaluation. Exposures to sodium-azide and hydrazoic-acid (7782798) were found to exceed the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limits (REL), in some cases despite the use of air supplied respirators. The REL for hydrazoic-acid vapor was 0.1 part per million as a ceiling limit, and the REL for sodium-azide was 0.3mg/m3 as a ceiling. Of the 11 workers, most reported headache, episodes of low blood pressure, and palpitations occurring in the production areas within the 6 months preceding the study. During a 24 hour medical evaluation, four of the 11 workers reported mild headache after working in the production areas. One asymptomatic employee had a drop in blood pressure during a period of exposure to sodium-azide at a level five times higher than recommended levels. None of the blood samples had detectable quantities of azide. The authors conclude that facilities handling sodium-azide should be aware of its potential toxicity; recommendations include improved engineering controls, increased attention to employee hygiene practices, and a more comprehensive respiratory protection program.
NIOSH-Author; Automotive-industry; Azides; Occupational-exposure; Biological-monitoring; Blood-pressure; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Medical-monitoring;
Author Keywords: sodium azide; hydrazoic acid; air monitoring; hypotension; ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; blood pressure; biological monitoring; airbags
Dr. Douglas Trout, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226
American Journal of Industrial Medicine