Health Hazard Evaluation Report HETA 97-0119-2707, Victoria Vogue, Inc., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
In February 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request for a health hazard evaluation (HHE) from a group of employees at Victoria Vogue, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The HHE request concerned employee health complaints that include skin rash, eye irritation, and difficulty breathing that were believed to be caused by occupational exposure to cotton dust during the production of velour materials and cosmetic powder puffs. Employees were also concerned about poor lighting while operating machinery in the Automatics department. On August 4-5, 1997, a site visit was made by NIOSH investigators to conduct an industrial hygiene survey that included exposure monitoring on workers for cotton dust, a lighting survey to determine adequate illumination at workstations, and a general safety inspection of the weaving operation. A symptoms questionnaire was distributed to each employee to obtain baseline information and the prevalence of their health complaints.