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plastic product manufacturing

Potential for Worker Exposure
Rubber products such as automobile tires, automotive and appliance moldings, rubber bands, rubber gloves, and prophylactics are an important part of modern life. However, production of these items involves subjecting heterogeneous mixtures of hundreds of chemicals to heat, pressure, and catalytic action during a variety of manufacturing processes. As a result, the work environment may be contaminated with dusts, gases, vapors, fumes, and chemical byproducts (e.g., Nnitrosamines). Workers may be exposed to these hazards through inhalation and skin absorption during rubber processing and product manufacturing. Physical hazards such as noise, repetitive motion, and lifting may also be present. Health scientists have been challenged to define these exposures and work conditions when investigating the health of rubber products workers.
The rubber products manufacturing industry employs a considerable number of workers. For example, in 1989, approximately 54,600 U.S. workers were employed in tire and inner tube production, and 132,500 workers were employed in the manufacture of nontire rubber products (Standard Industrial Classifications [SICs] 3021, 3052, 3053, 3061, and 3069; note that SICs 3021 and 3052 include plastic products and cannot be subdivided [see Table 1]) [U.S. Department of Commerce 1991].
Current Exposure Limits
Although the products and byproducts of tire and nontire rubber manufacturing contain hundreds of chemicals, only a small proportion of them are covered by applicable Federal occupational health standards [29 CFR* 1910].

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