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Ozone exposures during a treatment process of raw beef.

Hall R; Martinez K; Gwin K
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :56
NIOSH conducted a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) during an ozone research and development (R&D) sanitation treatment process of raw beef. Prior to the assessment, the company had conducted two R&D tests. During the first test, the workers did not use respiratory protection, and the ozone generator was shut down after approximately 15 minutes when workers reported respiratory symptoms (lung discomfort, nose and throat discomfort, and asthma attacks) and nausea. During the second test, workers wore half-mask air purifying respirators equipped with cartridges intended for ozone. The company monitored for ozone during the second test and reported concentrations of 0.2 parts of ozone per million parts of air (ppm). The workers did not report any symptoms during the second testing procedure which lasted approximately 2 hours. During the NIOSH HHE, workers and NIOSH representatives wore full face pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus to protect against ozone inhalation. During the NIOSH evaluation, peak ozone concentrations of 5 ppm (measured with detector tubes and a real-time monitor) were indicated near the inlet of the tumbler where a worker would occasionally insert raw beef products. Measurements collected with an ozone real-time monitor indicated average ozone concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1 ppm in the general tumbler area with an 8-hour time-weighted average of 0.05 ppm. Ozone detector tube samples taken around the tumbler area during the testing procedures indicated concentrations ranging from 2 to 3 ppm. The measured peak ozone concentration of 5 ppm exceeds the NIOSH ceiling limit (0.1 ppm), and is at the NIOSH recommended immediately dangerous to life or health limit (5 ppm) for ozone. The eight-hour TWA is below the OSHA PEL, and is at the ACGIH TLV for exposure during heavy physical exertion. However, ozone peak concentrations exceeded excursion limits. Based on the NIOSH study, management personnel at the company have decided to discontinue the use of ozone to kill bacteria in beef products.
Workers; Work-areas; Work-environment; Meat-handlers; Respiration; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-irritants; Food-handlers; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing-workers; Meat-packing-industry
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division