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Health hazard evaluation report: MHETA-80-109, US Borax and Chemical Corp, Boron, California.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, MHETA-80-109, 1983 May; :1-29
In response to a request from the International Longshoreman's and Warehouseman's Union and the management of US Borax and Chemical corporation, an investigation was begun into respiratory complaints at the borax mine and refining facility in Boron, California. Concern was voiced regarding exposure to dust and resulting respiratory disease. Based on the response of an earlier study, a medical survey was performed at the company. The study population included all mine and refining facility workers with at least 5 years tenure plus all workers currently working in the fusing or granulating facility, regardless of tenure. Of the 676 eligible workers, 629 (93%) participated. Symptoms of mucosal and ocular irritation were common and were significantly related to dust exposures. At dust levels of 1mg/m3, the symptoms were largely nonexistent. At dust levels above 4.1mg/m3, the symptoms were present with increasing frequency. Smoking status was not a factor. Evidence of pneumoconiosis was noted in 3.4% of the workers and pleural thickening in 2.6%. It is recommended that the total suspended particle levels be reduced below 4mg/m3 and as close to 1mg/m3 as possible.
NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; MHETA-80-109; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-9; Airborne-particles; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-irritants; Mineral-dusts; Mineral-processing; Author Keywords: Borax Pentahydrate; Borax Decahydrate; Boric Acid, Mucosal Irritation; Respiratory Irritation
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division