Health hazard evaluation report; HETA 89-200 & 89-273-2111, Exxon/Valdez Alaska oil spill
Published Date:May 1991
Corporate Authors:National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Keywords:Chemical Hazard Release
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989
Oceans And Seas
Prevention & Control
Volatile Organic Compounds
Water Pollution, Chemical
Chemical Hazard Release/Alaska
Oceans And Seas/Alaska
Oil Spills//Cleanup/Safety Measures/Alaska/Prince William Sound
Oil Spills/Health Aspects/Alaska/Prince William Sound
Volatile Organic Compounds/Physiological Effect
Water Pollution, Chemical/Prevention & Control/Alaska
Series:Health hazard evaluation report ; HETA 89-200-2111
Health hazard evaluation report ; HETA 89-273-2111
Description:At the request of the Laborer's International Union of North America, Alaska State Health Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard, NIOSH investigators conducted an industrial hygiene assessment of potential occupational exposures during typical tasks involved in the 1989 cleanup activities following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
"In response to requests from the Laborer's International Union of North America, the Alaska State Health Department, and the United States Coast Guard an evaluation was undertaken of health hazards present during the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound. Three field trips were made to the area. The cleanup involved thousands of workers dispersed over hundreds of square miles. After the first two visits, the following issues were targeted for additional evaluation: worker training; adequacy, availability, use and decontamination of personal protective equipment; exposure assessment including a review of prior exposure assessment data, analysis of bulk samples, inhalation exposures, skin exposures, and noise exposures; decontamination procedures; reports of illnesses; and reports of injuries. The authors conclude that at the time of the evaluation, inhalation exposure to volatile components of weathered crude oil was insignificant. Decontamination procedures and the wearing of personal protective equipment were not always effectively and consistently implemented at all sites. The authors recommend measures for future operations of this type, including testing of chemical protective clothing, emergency response plans with provisions for assessment of exposures to volatile organics at the very early stages of cleanup, minimizing exposures to diesel fumes, and that additional general safety recommendations and a proposed surveillance system for tracking injuries be enforced." - NIOSHTIC-2
"An unsuccessful attempt was made to conduct a systematic, record-based review of health and injury data in the field. This was not pursued after the 1989 cleanup effort had ended. However, preliminary information on the worker's compensation claims filed with the Alaska State system is discussed in this report. " - p. 
"HETA 89-200 & 89-273-2111."
Includes bibliographical references (p. 31-33).
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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