Health Hazard Evaluation Report HETA 98-0003-2698, Potlatch Corporation, Minnesota Pulp and Paper Division, Cloquet, Minnesota.
On October 1, 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) at the Potlach Corporation - Minnesota Pulp and Paper Division (PCMPPD) plant in Cloquet, Minnesota. The request, from the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council, concerned potential worker exposures during the construction of a new boiler. The primary concern was for emissions generated from three adjacent operating boilers. The reported health effects were headache and respiratory symptoms. Since April 1997, PCMPPD and company-contracted environmental consultants have sampled for more than 100 different chemical compounds at the construction site in an effort to identify the source of the worker's symptoms. However, PCMPPD and the environmental consultants did not sample for ozone. An industrial hygiene and medical evaluation was conducted on November 19-21, 1997. Sampling efforts during the evaluation were focused on potential worker exposures incurred from the nearby operating boilers and welding operations. Area air samples at the construction site were collected for ozone, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and inorganic acids (hydrofluoric, hydrochloric, nitric, phosphoric, sulfuric, and hydrobromic acid).