HHE Report No. HETA-85-345-1665, County of Alameda, Oakland, California.
Air quality in the Data Processing Department of the County of Alameda (SIC-9390), Oakland, California was investigated on May 16, and June 14, 1985. The evaluation was requested by a representative of the Personnel Department, Occupational Health Services, County of Alameda, Oakland, California to investigate indoor air quality problems. Workers had complained about room air temperature, and symptoms such as stuffy head, headaches, burning eyes and raspy throat. There also was concern that the ventilation intake duct at street level might be capturing vehicle exhaust fumes. Approximately 70 to 80 programmers and clerical staff work in the Data Processing Department, which is located in a large windowless room in the basement. An initial environmental survey was conducted in May; in June, carbon-monoxide (630080) (CO), carbon-dioxide (124389) (CO2) and formaldehyde (50000) concentrations in the air were measured using chemical detector tubes. CO air concentrations ranged from 2 to 3 parts per million (ppm), while CO2 air concentrations ranged from 500 to 700ppm. No formaldehyde was detected. Of 17 workers interviewed, 6 with asthma or allergies described eye, nose or throat symptoms. Air temperature and relative humidity were within ASHRAE standards for indoor air (72 to 79 degrees-F, relative humidity 20 to 60 percent). The author concluded that there were no overexposures to CO, CO2, or formaldehyde, and that workers' complaints may be related to an improperly balanced ventilation system and cigarette smoke. Recommendations are given for improving air quality within this workplace.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-85-345-1665, 10 pages, 6 references