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Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) - What's New


August is Valley Fever Awareness Month

People who work outdoors in California’s Central Valley and other locations, especially workers who dig or disturb soil, are at risk for Valley Fever, a serious illness that can cause disability or even death. Valley Fever (also called coccidioidomycosis) is caused by inhaling fungal spores found in the soil in certain parts of the Southwest U.S., including the Central Valley. Employers in affected areas can take steps to protect workers from breathing in these fungal spores. These steps include controlling dust, providing worker training, and suspending outdoor work during heavy winds. For August, CDPH adds a new poster for employers of outdoor workers to its resources for preventing work-related Valley Fever.

Valley Fever poster for outdoor workers (PDF) 

Preventing Work-related Valley Fever – web page  


Mercury in the Workplace

Metallic mercury (also known as elemental mercury) is a potent neurotoxin that can cause health damage in very small amounts. Workers can be exposed to mercury if they breathe mercury vapor or have skin contact with it. They can also be exposed if instruments or equipment containing mercury break and release mercury-containing dust, liquid, or vapor. HESIS’s revised fact sheet on metallic mercury identifies work settings where workers can be exposed, describes serious health damage that can occur, and offers tips on working safely around mercury. The fact sheet also provides tips on cleaning up a mercury spill and resources for controlling mercury in the workplace.

Mercury in the Workplace fact sheet (PDF) 

For more information on our work in this area, see Providing Practical Information on Chemical Hazards


Electronic Waste Recycling: Working Safely – Spanish fact sheet now available

Our society’s increasing appetite for the latest electronic equipment is fueling a growing electronic waste (e-waste) recycling industry. In e-waste recycling, workers may encounter unanticipated hazards that can result in injury, hearing loss, or exposure to toxic dusts and other chemicals. These hazards can cause serious and sometimes permanent health problems. This fact sheet—now available in Spanish-- describes the hazards that may occur in e-waste recycling and highlights actions companies can take to control hazards, as well as things workers can do to protect themselves.

Electronic Waste Recycling: Working Safely (PDF)    … Spanish - fact sheet

For more information on our work in this area, see Providing Practical Information on Chemical Hazards


N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP)  

NMP is a solvent known to the State of California to produce reproductive harm. In April 2014 Cal/OSHA adopted a new Permissible Exposure Limit of one part-per-million in air to reduce the risk of developmental effects in the offspring of exposed workers. Cal/OSHA also gave NMP an "S" (skin) designation, requiring employers to provide appropriate protective gloves, because NMP can be absorbed through intact skin. California is currently the only jurisdiction within the United States to regulate NMP exposures in workplace air. This revised HESIS health hazard advisory includes these regulatory changes and emphasizes the use of safer alternatives. It also contains an updated list of some commercial products with NMP as an ingredient.

N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) (PDF)  – revised health hazard advisory

 


 

Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) home page

Occupational Health Branch home page

 
 
Last modified on: 8/10/2016 9:42 AM