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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-97-0001-2643, S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd., Sweeny, Texas.

Kiefer M; Lushniak BD
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 97-0001-2643, 1997 Jun; :1-14
In response to a request from S-and-B Engineers employees working at the Phillips Sweeny Refinery (SIC-2911), Old Ocean, Texas, an investigation was begun into skin problems among workers at Unit 12, an ethylene production unit being renovated. Industrial hygiene data collected by Phillips personnel in Unit 12 were reviewed and materials were suggested which may be possible contributors to the skin problems being experienced, including catalysts, refinery residues, and cooling tower chemicals. Medical records were reviewed for 46 workers; private interviews and skin exams were held with 34 current workers, two former workers, and four workers of subcontractors. Of the 34 current workers examined, nine had an active skin process consistent with a contact dermatitis. No single clinical pattern of skin findings and distributions was distinguished, and the affected workers participated in a variety of jobs. Bulk sample analyses did not identify any unexpected constituents or contaminants. The authors conclude that multiple environmental factors may have been responsible for the dermatitis in workers, including exposure to renovation activities and materials, the use of fire resistant coveralls, laundry practices, exposure to spent catalyst or residual chemical, and the use of certain soaps. The authors recommend measures to reduce the potential for exposure to contaminants.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-97-0001-2643; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-6; Skin-exposure; Skin-disorders; Contact-dermatitis; Petroleum-refineries; Protective-clothing; Author Keywords: Petroleum Refining; Dermatitis; contact dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis; ethylene refinery; catalyst; fire-retardant clothing; contractors
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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