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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-95-0097-2661, Battery Conservation Technologies, Inc. (formerly Recovery and Reclamation, Inc.), Pecos, Texas.
Reh CM; Kang D; Herrera-Moreno V
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 95-0097-2661, 1997 Oct; :1-41
In response to a request from the Texas Department of Health, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous levels of mercury (7439976) exposure during the recycling/reclamation of household type alkaline batteries at Battery Conservation Technologies, Inc. (SIC-5093), Pecos, Texas (Formerly Recovery and Reclamation, Inc.). Mercury monitoring was conducted in May of 1995 and December of 1997. Workers participated in a medical questionnaire and a spot urine study. In May of 1995, 67 full shift air samples were collected from workers. The mercury exposure concentration ranged from 0.9 to 612.7 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3), with 39% of the readings being above the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 50microg/m3. The mean urine mercury concentration among 58 workers was 38.9 micrograms/gram creatinine, ranging from 1.6 to 172.0. A significant correlation was noted between the personal breathing zone mercury exposure concentrations and the urine mercury levels. A significant correlation was also found between urine mercury levels and feeling tired, weak, depressed, and experiencing shortness of breath. There was also thought to be a possibility that the homes of the workers were being contaminated with mercury taken home on the clothes of the workers. The authors conclude that a serious health hazard existed from mercury exposure. The authors recommend specific measures to reduce mercury exposures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-95-0097-2661; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-6; Battery-manufacturing-industry; Mercury-poisoning; Urinalysis; Biological-monitoring; Occupational-exposure; Heavy-metals; Author Keywords: Scrap and Waste Materials; mercury; alkaline batteries; urine mercury; recycling operations; reclamation operations; N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase; NAG; central nervous system; renal system; kidneys
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division