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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-98-0320-2751, Mercury Waste Solutions, Inc. Union Grove, Wisconsin.
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 98-0320-2751, 1999 Aug; :1-23
On August 21, 1998, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a health hazard evaluation (HHE) from the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health. This request concerned potential health effects related to mercury (Hg) exposure in the employees of Mercury Waste Solutions, Inc. (MWSI) in Union Grove, Wisconsin. The requester sought a clinical evaluation of workers to determine if physical signs of acute or chronic inorganic Hg poisoning existed among the workforce. In response to this request, NIOSH investigators conducted a medical evaluation on September 3-4, 1998. Our evaluation found that some workers at MWSI had subclinical detriment of neurological function that seemed to be related to Hg exposure. The clinical significance of these changes is uncertain. Only the tremor test results showed evidence of decreased function. Mercury contamination at the plant resulted in overexposure of the employees to Hg vapor and particulates. The majority of the workforce had elevated urinary Hg levels(above the BEI). Workers with elevated urine Hg levels had worse performance on the tremor test compared to workers with low Hg levels.
Mercury-vapors; Central-nervous-system-disorders; Questionnaires; Urinalysis; Medical-monitoring; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Author Keywords: Scrap and Waste Materials; mercury; urine mercury; central nervous system; mercury recycling; tremor; neurobehavioral testing
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division