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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2006-0153-3022, Sara Lee Foods, Storm Lake, Iowa.

King-B; Page-E; Khan-A
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 2006-0153-3022, 2006 Oct; :1-13
On February 23, 2006, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a health hazard evaluation (HHE) from management of Sara Lee Foods in Storm Lake, Iowa. The company requested a follow-up to a previous evaluation of chloramine exposure to evisceration line area workers in the poultry processing facility. In 2002-2003, NIOSH investigators conducted an HHE (HETA 2002-0257-2916) at the worksite in response to a request for technical assistance from the Occupational Safety and Health Bureau of the Iowa Division of Labor regarding complaints of eye and respiratory irritation. A survey of evisceration line and dark meat area workers regarding these symptoms was conducted in 2002. An exposure evaluation for chloramine compounds was conducted in 2003. The company has since implemented the majority of the engineering controls NIOSH investigators recommended and asked NIOSH to return to evaluate these controls. On June 5-8, 2006, NIOSH investigators conducted a site visit to the Sara Lee Foods facility. Personal breathing zone (PBZ) and area air samples were collected for soluble chlorine (a combination of chlorine byproducts such as monochloramine, dichloramine, hypochlorous acid, and hypochlorite) and trichloramines in the evisceration line and dark meat areas of the facility. Questionnaires were administered to workers from the evisceration line to determine the extent of work-related symptoms experienced in the previous 4 weeks. Engineering and ventilation controls implemented since the previous evaluation were identified and documented. Results of this symptom and exposure evaluation were compared to results from the previous investigation. Rates of all symptoms reported by evisceration line area workers were much lower during this visit than during the site visit made in June 2002. Exposure levels for soluble chlorine were reduced in the evisceration line area. The potential health hazard documented in HETA 2002-0257-2916 has been effectively addressed by Sara Lee Foods facility management. The reduced rates of symptoms reported by evisceration line area workers paired with reduced levels of soluble chlorine compounds in this area demonstrate the effectiveness of the new engineering controls implemented at this facility.
Region-7; Slaughterhouses; Poultry; Poultry-industry; Poultry-workers; Eye-irritants; Respiratory-irritants; Chlorine-compounds; Air-flow; Air-sampling; Ammonium-compounds; Temperature-effects; Endotoxins; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing-workers; Medical-monitoring; Breathing-zone; Ventilation; Exposure-levels; Lung-function; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Author Keywords: poultry processing; turkeys; chlorine; chloramine; soluble chlorine; trichloramine; eye irritation; upper respiratory irritation; evisceration; engineering controls
7664-41-7; 7681-52-9; 7782-50-5; 124-38-9; 10025-85-1; 7790-92-3; 10599-90-3
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division