HHE Report No. HETA-96-0098-2591, BTR Antivibration Systems, Inc., Logansport, Indiana.
In response to a request from management, an investigation was begun into a recent increase in the number of workers with skin conditions at BTR Antivibration Systems, Inc. (SIC-3061), Logansport, Indiana. The facility produced automotive vibration control products using rubber stock and metal parts. Nearly 5,000 individuals were employed in the facility on three shifts. Department 634 included the molding process, metal preparation processes, paint dip tanks, elastomer adhesive spray processes, grinding and buffing operations, assembly and packaging of the products. Twenty one employees described dermatologic symptoms which they felt were work related. Seventeen of these 21 had sought help from a physician and the final diagnoses included nonspecific dermatitis in three, and one case each of irritant contact dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, lichen simplex chronicus, urticaria, blister, rosacea, alopecia areata, furuncles, urticarial vasculitis, nummular psoriasis, and psoriasis. Exposures that the workers subjectively associated with their symptoms included oils, sprayer, paint lacquer, cleanser, heat, soap, adhesive, dust and solvents. The authors conclude that no specific explanation was found for the increase in skin problems at the facility, although workers had potential exposure to multiple known skin irritants and allergens.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-96-0098-2591, 14 pages, 15 references