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Exposure related observations in humans: other data

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Endpoint:
exposure-related observations in humans: other data
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
Study period:
1976-1977
Reliability:
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Medium quality of exposure data and relevance to the test substance. A detailed description of the scoring criteria and results can be found attached to IUCLID Section 7.10.5-Exposure Related Observations in Humans (Other): Summary.
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Reason / purpose:
reference to same study
Reason / purpose:
reference to other study

Data source

Reference
Reference Type:
other: technical report
Title:
Unnamed
Year:
1978

Materials and methods

Type of study / information:
Air monitoring data
Endpoint addressed:
not applicable
Test guideline
Qualifier:
no guideline followed
Principles of method if other than guideline:
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted an industry-wide study of occupational exposure in three different nickel processes operations
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Reference
Name:
Unnamed
Type:
Constituent
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): nickel oxide, nickel oxide ore

Method

Ethical approval:
not specified
Details on study design:
OBJECTIVE
To obtain an overview of the exposures of American workers to nickel compounds (exclusive of nickel carbonyl) by conducting exposure surveys of the three facilities: Plant A - A nickel smelter, Plant B - A nickel refinery, and Plant C - An inorganic chemical plant

PROCESS
- Plant A. crude nickel ore contained about 1.5% nickel with over 20% water content; ore is transported from the mine to the smelter where it passes through drying, crushing, and calcining stages after which it is fused and reacted with molten ferro-silicon. This results in the formation of a ferro-nickel alloy with over 50% nickel content. The ferro-silicon used in this process is produced by the reduction of quartz with coke and
iron turnings in an electric furnace.
-Plant B. partly processed imported' ore (matte) containing Co. Cu and Ni is crushed and then reacted with the circuit electrolyte (a sulfuric acid solution from the clipper tank house). The resultant solution is treated to remove iron and other impurities. After intricate chemical separations copper is obtained by a hydrogenation process. Both nickel and cobalt are marketed in the form of a metal powder or briquettes. Ammonium sulfate,
a by-product of this process is marketed as a fertilizer.
-Plant C. nickel salts are produced. The process consists basically of reacting nickel metal or oxide witt. various acids (H2S04. HCl. HN03) followed by cooling of the salt solution and the crystallization of the salt. The salts are usually centrifuged, and either packaged at this point or dried and sometimes classified for uniform crystal· size prior to packaging. This process applies in general to the manufacture of all soluble nickel salts. Nickel carbonate is also produced at Plant C.

Exposure assessment:
measured
Details on exposure:
TYPE OF EXPOSURE: occupational


TYPE OF EXPOSURE MEASUREMENT: Area air sampling / Personal sampling / Exposure pads / Biomonitoring (urine) / Biomonitoring blood / other:
-Personal air samples collected at all three plants
-0.8 µm pore size, 37 mm mixed cellulose ester fiber filters
-filter rate of 2.0 liters per minute with HSA Hodel G pump
-pump worn on the worker's belt; filter held in place by a clamp on the worker's collar


DESCRIPTION / DELINEATION OF EXPOSURE GROUPS / CATEGORIES:
-Plant A = 78 samples
-Plant B = 22 samples (from an earlier study)
-Plant C = 29 samples

SAMPLE ANALYSES
-Plant A: samples analyzed for nickel, cobalt, copper, lead, and chromium via atomic absorption spectroscopy (note: area samples were also collected for arsenic)
-Plant B: the company made available its environmental data which consisted
of air sampling data (both general area and personal), which give exposures
levels to airborne nickel. The samples were collected using the same methodology
employed by NIOSH.
-Plant C, samples were analyzed for nickel, cobalt, manganese, and zinc via atomic absorption spectroscopy

Results and discussion

Results:
- Plant A: nickel concentrations ranged from 0.004 to 0.42 mg/m3 and averaged 0.030 mg/m3; 5 samples were above 0.001 mg/m3 (ACGIH-TLV) and 18 samples above 0.015 mg/m3 (NIOSH recommended level)
- Plant B: Personal samples (collected previously) on the matte storage operator, skip hoist operator, and payload operator taken during the period of 7/75 - 12/75 indicated exposures to nickel ranged from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.60 mg/m3. Average concentrations in powder washing, packaging, and briquetting were 1.24, 0.54, and 4.84 mg/m3, respectively
- Plant C: nickel concentrations ranged from 0.009 to 2.780 mg/m3 and averaged 0.244 mg/m3

Any other information on results incl. tables

Raw data provided in appendices of report.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Conclusions:
The report authors concluded that though in general all three plants surveyed currently meet the OSHA standard
of 1 mg Ni/m3, the amount of effort that would be required to meet the proposed NIOSH nickel standard of 0.015 mg/m3 will vary with each plant. Plant A, which handles only insoluble nickel material had concentrations about two times the proposed NIOSH standard, but should be able to meet it. Plant B, which handles nickel solutions, as well as nickel powder, will require a greater effort to contain process materials so they will not become airborne. Plant C, an old plant founded in 1900, may require considerable effort in upgrading its facility, and some process equipment may need to be modified or replaced if they are to meet the proposed NIOSH standard.
Executive summary:

Donaldson et al (1978) reported on occupational exposure to nickel, as well as other metals, as part of an industry-wide study of three different nickel processing facilities conducted by NIOSH. Personal air samples were collected at a nickel smelter (Plant A, n= 78) and an inorganic chemical factory (Plant C, n = 29) between 1976 and 1977. Air samples from a nickel refinery (Plant B) were also reported but were collected in a previous investigation. Samples from Plants A and B were analyzed for nickel (total), cobalt, copper, lead, and chromium via atomic absorption spectroscopy. At Plant A, nickel concentrations ranged from 0.004 to 0.42 mg/m3 and averaged 0.030 mg/m3; 5 samples were above 0.001 mg/m3 (ACGIH-TLV) and 18 samples above 0.015 mg/m3 (NIOSH recommended level). At Plant C, nickel concentrations ranged from 0.009 to 2.780 mg/m3 and averaged 0.244 mg/m3. The report authors concluded that although all three plants surveyed currently met the OSHA standard of 1 mg Ni/m3, the amount of effort that would be required to meet the proposed NIOSH nickel standard of 0.015 mg/m3 would vary with each plant. Relative to other compounds evaluated, nickel was the predominant compound that measured in the personal air. These data provide information on workplace exposures in three nickel processing plants in 1976-1977. STUDY RATED BY AN INDEPENDENT REVIEWER