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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-96-0100-2636, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

Reh BD; Driscoll RJ; Esswein EJ
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 96-0100-2636, 1997 Apr; :1-125
In response to a confidential employee request, a health hazard evaluation was begun at Harley Davidson Motor Company (SIC-3714), Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Workers had reported chest tightness, breathing difficulties, headaches, heart irregularities, and hoarseness directly related to their work environment, specifically the paint and clear coat booth areas. Measurements were taken of exposures to organic compounds, microbial contamination, and endotoxins. The ventilation system was evaluated and employees participated in a symptoms questionnaire. The microbial contamination in the water pits was up to 10(6) colony forming units per milliliter of water of gram negative bacteria and 10(4) fungi. The endotoxin air concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 1,359.1 endotoxin units per cubic meter of air during August and from 0.4 to 12.2 during November. The workers in the pin striping and masking areas had the highest prevalence of symptoms, and no statistically significant increases of symptoms were reported during the heating season in any area of the facility. The authors conclude that low levels of chemical and biological exposures were seen, but no overexposures. The authors recommend that additional local exhaust ventilation, routine symptom surveillance, and industrial hygiene monitoring, along with improved communications be implemented.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-96-0100-2636; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-5; Organic-solvents; Endotoxins; Microorganisms; Ventilation-systems; Respiratory-system-disorders; Painting; Coatings; Author Keywords: Motor vehicle parts and accessories; paints; solvents; thermal desorption tubes; endotoxins; microbial contamination; ventilation; direct gas-fired heating; respiratory symptoms; chest tightness; breathing difficulties; headaches
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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