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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0501-2580, Western Zirconium, Ogden, Utah.
Husberg B; Berardinelli S Jr.
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 93-0501-2580, 1996 May; :1-26
In response to an employee request, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at Western Zirconium (SIC- 3339), Ogden, Utah. The requestor expressed concern over work related asthma and respiratory problems reported among employees at the facility. The company employed 430 workers at the site in the production of zirconium metal parts for use in nuclear power reactors. Records indicated occupational overexposure to hydrogen- chloride (7647010) and chlorine (7782505) gas and the sporadic release of hydrofluoric-acid (7664393). Spirometry data indicated that five current workers at the site had significant cross sectional changes in their spirometry. Five current workers had longitudinal changes in their spirometry and four had both cross sectional and longitudinal changes. The authors conclude that there was a potential for occupational exposure to respiratory irritants. The authors recommend that engineering controls be implemented in the feed makeup area which would be effective in reducing exposures, that engineering controls be continually upgraded, that medical surveillance including questionnaires to identify potential health hazards and to assess the number of exposed workers be performed, that asymptomatic workers be screened, and that quality control methods be undertaken to obtain more precise findings on medical testing of current workers.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0501-2580; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Lung-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function-tests; Acid-mists; Control-technology; Metalworking-industry; Author Keywords: zirconium metal production; zirconium alloy bars, rods, billets, sheets, and tubing manufacture; zirconium; metal production; ammonia; hydrochloric acid; nitric acid; hydrofluoric acid; medical surveillance; spirometry
7647-01-0; 7782-50-5; 7664-39-3
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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