Occupational fatalities associated with 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) exposure, 1980-1998.
2,4-Dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) is a feedstock chemical primarily used to produce the herbicide 2,4-dichloropheoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). In October 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was notified of the death of a worker acutely exposed to 2,4-DCP. Follow-up investigation by EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identified four earlier deaths associated with acute 2,4-DCP exposure, which occurred during 1980--1992. All of these incidents resulted in rapid death after dermal exposure to the heated liquid form of the chemical. This report describes the five deaths associated with 2,4-DCP exposure (presented in the order in which they were identified) and provides recommendations for preventing additional deaths.