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HHE Report, No. HETA-82-273-1239, Spectrum Control, Inc., Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Authors
Boxer-PA; Hartle-R
Source
NIOSH 1982 Dec; :1-30
NIOSHTIC No.
00127604
Abstract
The cause of an outbreak of illness among workers at Spectrum Control, Incorporated (SIC-3675), Fairview, Pennsylvania, was investigated on May 27 and 28, and June 21, 1982. The investigation was requested by an employee and by the management on behalf of 230 workers, after repeated worker complaints of dizziness, headache, nausea, and mental confusion. Previous air sampling results were reviewed, and workers completed medical and occupational history questionnaires. Earlier environmental sampling did not reveal hazardous concentrations of any chemicals. More female than male employees reported symptoms. Workers who reported symptoms attributed their illness directly to work exposures, and more frequently reported the belief that the illness could recur. The ill workers also reported the presence of a peculiar odor in the workplace. More than half reported hearing about the symptoms in others before becoming ill themselves. The authors conclude that the illness outbreak was not due to any workplace exposure. They suggest that the outbreak was a mass psychogenic phenomenon brought on by workplace stress. Recommendations are better worker education and better communication between management and employees.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Mental-stress; Air-quality-measurement; Industrial-exposures; Electrical-workers; HETA-82-273-1239; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-3
Publication Date
19821201
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
1983
NTIS Accession No.
PB84-172907
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
HETA-82-273-1239
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
SIC Code
3675
Source Name
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 30 pages, 13 references
State
PA; OH
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