08.12.2006

New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports

US-American Institute of Occuaptional Safety and Health NIOSH has released five
new Health Hazard Evaluation Reports.

Evaluation of cancer occurrence in the transportation, warehousing, and
utilities sector.

NIOSH investigators responded to a management request to determine if there was
an excess of cancer cases among current and former workers at a power plant.
The concern arose because of contamination of a power plant's potable water
with hydrazine, which was used as an anti-corrosive additive in the boilers.
Using state cancer registry data, NIOSH investigators calculated cancer rates
among current and former employees and compared them to rates in the
surrounding communities. No significant excess of lung, colon, or all cancers
combined among workers potentially exposed to hydrazine was found.

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Evaluation of noise exposure in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities
sector.

NIOSH investigators responded to a management request to determine if a risk
for hearing loss was posed by noise from conveyor belts and baggage inspection
equipment in the checked baggage screening areas of an international airport.
Of the 13 employees monitored, one had a noise dose exceeding the NIOSH
recommended exposure limit, but none had exposures above the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit. A spectral
analysis of noise levels revealed a high-pitched noise that was not loud enough
to pose a risk for work-related hearing loss, but was irritating to the
employees. NIOSH investigators recommended further evaluation of noise
exposures followed by development of a hearing conservation program, if needed,
and engineering controls to reduce specific noise exposures.

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Evaluation of diesel exposure in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities
sector.

NIOSH investigators responded to a joint union/management request to assess
equipment-generated diesel exhaust during move/load/unload operations at four
marine terminals. NIOSH investigators collected air samples for diesel exhaust,
carbon monoxide, and total particulate; interviewed employees; and reviewed
illness and injury records. Although most diesel exposures were not above
recommended exposures limits, exposure levels and employee symptoms indicated
that a potential health hazard existed for workers in certain job titles. NIOSH
investigators recommended work practice changes and engineering approaches to
reduce exposures.

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Evaluation of silver iodide exposure in the manufacturing sector.

NIOSH investigators responded to a management request to assess exposure to
silver iodide during the manufacturing of cloud-seeding flares. Concerns were
raised by the occurrence of thyroid disease in several employees. Silver iodide
exposures levels were less than 0.4 mg/m3; occupational exposure limits have
not been developed for silver iodide. Exposures to aluminum, magnesium, and
strontium were well below occupational exposure limits. Based on their review
of employees' medical records NIOSH investigators concluded that diagnosed
medical conditions were not related to workplace exposures.

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Evaluation of styrene and other process-related exposures in the manufacturing
sector.

NIOSH investigators responded to an employee request concerning potential
long-term effects from exposure to smoke and chemicals generated while
manufacturing polystyrene and cutting polyethylene sheeting and expandable
polystyrene foam. NIOSH investigators conducted area and personal breathing
zone air sampling. All sample results were below applicable occupational
exposure limits.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute of Occuaptional Safety and Health