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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-051-1269, National Starch and Chemical Meredosia, Illinois.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-051-1269, 1983 Mar; :1-10
In response to a request from employees at the National Starch and Chemical Corporation (SIC-2821) at Meredosia, Illinois, an investigation was begun into an apparently increased number of pulmonary function test and chest X-ray abnormalities among the workers at that site. There were 39 workers with test results for both 1980 and 1981; only two had abnormal results in 1980, and 15 had abnormal results in 1981. The company was a batch process polymer manufacturer. Vinyl-acetate (108054) was the primary ingredient in the batch process operation which produced polyvinyl- acetate polymers and copolymers. Contaminants included organic compounds from the batch operations and nitric-acid (7697372) from the tank used to clean process parts. Five area air samples were collected. At no time was the threshold limit for any of the compounds exceeded. Respiratory questionnaires and pulmonary function tests were administered to 47 workers; by NIOSH criteria, six had abnormal pulmonary function tests. The authors conclude that a health hazard from airborne chemicals did not exist at this site. They suggest instead that an artifactual increase in percentage of abnormal test results had reflected a change in the criteria used to interpret the test findings. The authors recommend that the reporting of medical test results to workers be improved, and follow up sampling conducted for acid gases in the parts cleaning operation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-051-1269; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-5; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function-tests; Lung-function; Polymerization; Occupational-exposure; Plastics-industry; Author Keywords: Plastics Materials, Synthetic Resins, and Nonvulcanizable Elastomers; polyvinyl acetate polymers; polyvinyl acetate copolymers; vinyl acetate; ethyl acetate; butyl acrylate; n-butyl acetate
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