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August 1988

From the MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Report Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(8):1171-1172. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670080007002

Methemoglobinemia due to Occupational Exposure to Dinitrobenzene—Ohio, 1986  ON APRIL 23, 1986, five steam-press operators at an Ohio rubber plant became ill with symptoms including yellow discoloration of the hands, blue discoloration of the lips and nail beds, headache, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty in concentrating. One worker suffered a seizure. Medical examination showed that blood methemoglobin (MetHb) levels in the workers ranged from 3.8% to 41.2% (normal level less than or equal to 1%).The workers had been using an adhesive to bond metal studs into rubber strips to be attached to automotive bumpers. When the outbreak occurred, officials of the company voluntarily stopped steam-press operations and asked that representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Ohio Industrial Commission investigate. Five days later, a plant supervisor operated the steam-press for about 2 hours so that an industrial hygienist with the Ohio Industrial Commission