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Evaluation of metalworking fluid exposure, dermatitis, respiratory symptoms, and psychosocial factors in an engine machining plant
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    "The Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from a union representative at an automotive engine machining plant with concerns about metalworking fluid (MWF) exposures in the cylinder head machining department possibly causing skin and respiratory symptoms among employees. We (1) interviewed 89 cylinder head employees about their health concerns and examined those with skin rashes; (2) administered 172 questionnaires to cylinder head, crankshaft, and long block assembly department employees about their work exposures and symptoms; (3) took personal and area air samples for metalworking fluids and area air samples for amines; and (4) and reviewed illness and injury logs, air sampling reports, and medical records. Although MWF mist levels measured were below occupational exposure limits, employees reported a high prevalence of work-related nasal (45%-55%), respiratory (29%-31%) and skin (25%) symptoms. The work-related nasal and respiratory symptoms reported by employees were significantly associated with methods used to clean machines and machine parts: compressed air, water spray, and coolant spray. We observed employees not wearing the required protective clothing and using work practices that could increase the risk for skin exposure to MWF. Twelve out of 16 employees with rash who were examined at interview appeared to have skin symptoms likely related to coolant exposure. Some metalworking fluid was passing through the mist collectors and being exhausted back into the plant. We recommend limiting exposure to metalworking fluids by not using compressed air, water, or coolant spray and improving engineering controls, using gloves consistently, improving communication, and encouraging employees to report work-related symptoms early." - NIOSHTIC-2

    Recommended citation for this report: NIOSH [2018]. Evaluation of metalworking uid exposure, dermatitis, respiratory symptoms, and psychosocial factors in an engine machining plant. By Beaucham C, Tapp L, Wiegand D, Couch J, Mueller C. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Report 2015-0070-3304, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2015-0070-3304.pdf.

    NIOSH no. 20051111

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