Health hazard evaluation report no. HETA-96-0071-2584, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge K-25 Site, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In response to a request from Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. employees who work at the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge K-25 Site (SIC-9611), Oak Ridge, Tennessee, an investigation was begun into possible exposure to cyanides. The site employed about 4,000 persons. Employees at the K-25 site reported headaches, fatigue, depression, muscle aches, sleeplessness, and muscle tremors. Twenty two employees were interviewed. Air samples were collected and analyzed for cyanides. The results indicated that the employees are not occupationally exposed to hydrogen-cyanide (74908), to cyanide salts or to a wide variety of other compounds that contain the cyanide ion. The authors conclude that no relationship was found between the health problems reported by the workers and any chronic, occupational cyanide intoxication. The authors recommend that risk communication efforts be improved, that Lockheed procedures to investigate this issue be evaluated and that possible nonoccupational sources for cyanide exposure be considered.