McAlester Army Ammunition Plant employees test positive for TNT exposure

Thursday, September 2nd 2004, 5:18 pm
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- Seventeen workers at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant have been removed from a bombing filling line after 14 tested positive for exposure to TNT.

Plant spokesman Mark Hughes says blood tests showed the employees had hemolytic anemia, or low levels of oxygen in their blood.

The workers were filling 2,000 pound bombs with explosive powder. The bombs were being made for the Air Force.

Hughes says the specific bomb required employees to handle the powder more than other bombs.

Employees on the bomb filling line are required to wear a respirator, gloves, hats and long-sleeved coveralls over their clothes.

Medical officials they probably were exposed to the powder on their necks, which are not covered by the clothing.

Hughes employees who work with the explosive powder now must shower before leaving work and their blood levels are consistently monitored by staff physicians.