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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2007-0344-3104, evaluation of potential exposures during composite grinding at an aircraft manufacturing plant, Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas.

Durgam S; de Perio MA
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 2007-0344-3104, 2010 Mar; :1-17
NIOSH received a confidential request from employees for an HHE at the Prospect facility of Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) in Wichita, Kansas. The requestors were concerned about adverse health effects from exposure to paint and sealants, CO, and dust generated during grinding of composite and metal parts in D039 and D133. Health effects noted in the request were headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and abdominal pain. We evaluated the facility on January 23-24, 2008, to learn more about the manufacturing process. We observed work practices; evaluated employee exposure to total dust, respirable dust, and CO; and interviewed employees in D039 and D133 about their health. We also interviewed Cessna's Health Services manager. We reviewed the OSHA Form 300 Log of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses from the years 2005-2007 and company air sampling reports for D039 and D133 from 2002-2007. We also looked at MSDSs and the maintenance chart for the downdraft table in D039. Three of four employees in D039 and D133 with pre-existing asthma reported worsening of their asthma at work. One employee reported being diagnosed with asthma since beginning work at Cessna. Three employees reported skin rashes, and two employees reported headaches. None of the interviewed employees reported dizziness, fatigue, or abdominal pain. Our air sampling results indicated that employees' exposures to total dust, respirable dust, and metals were below the NIOSH RELs, OSHA PELs, and ACGIH TLVs. Air sampling results for CO indicated that the air concentrations were below all applicable OELs. However, dust generated from grinding composite materials can contain reactive components that can cause health effects at levels far below the applicable OELs. Despite low levels of total and respirable dust and metals, it is possible that the reported respiratory symptoms are work related. To further reduce exposure to dust, we recommend that employees use downdraft tables when grinding on composite materials. Engineering controls such as shrouded grinding tools should also be provided to employees. Employees should wear respirators correctly, including being clean shaven to have a good seal. We also encourage employees to report all work-related health concerns to the onsite medical clinic.
Aircraft; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respirators; Respiratory-irritants; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Paints; Paint-shops; Respirable-dust; Dusts; Metals; Metallic-dusts; Metal-dusts; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Author Keywords: Aircraft Manufacturing; composite material; grinding; epoxy; BADGE; asthma; carbon monoxide
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division