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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2005-0188-3038, L-3 Communications, Budd Lake, New Jersey.
Tubbs-RL; Stephenson-MR; Epp-R
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 2005-0188-3038, 2007 Mar; :1-11
On March 25, 2005, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request from employees at L-3 Communications in Budd Lake, New Jersey. A few employees at the facility had experienced a sudden loss of hearing in one of their ears in close time proximity to each other. They were concerned that an occupational exposure may have caused their symptoms, particularly a water mister system that was used for humidity control in the assembly areas. An evaluation of the facility was conducted by NIOSH on May 3-4, 2005. NIOSH investigators, including a physician, audiologist, and psychoacoustician, conducted environmental sampling and employee interviews during a full work shift at the facility. The sampling protocol included area spectral noise analyses and air sampling of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) parameters to assess the conditions at L-3 Communications. Private interviews were held with employees and the medical records of workers who had experienced sudden deafness were requested and received. The results of the evaluation revealed no workplace exposures that exceeded applicable occupational exposure limits. Exposures found in the assembly areas of L-3 Communications were below the evaluation criteria used by the NIOSH investigators. It is the opinion of the NIOSH evaluation team that there were no exposures in the facility that would explain the sudden deafness exhibited by the employees and that the disorder was most likely from a virus. Recommendations for improving working conditions at the facility are offered in this report.
Region-2; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Communication-workers; Communications-industry; Hearing-loss; Noise; Humidity; Temperature-effects; Environmental-control; Spectrographic-analysis; Air-quality-measurement; Air-sampling; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing; noise; spectral analysis; IEQ; temperature; relative humidity; carbon dioxide; sudden deafness
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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