HHE report no. HETA-92-166-2318, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In response to a request from employees, an investigation was undertaken of possible hazardous working conditions at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (SIC-9311), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Health problems reported included headaches, body aches, dizziness, sinus problems, flue symptoms, low energy levels and constant colds. All of the carbon-dioxide (124389) levels measured were below the required limits. In some places the temperature and relative humidity measures exceeded the summer comfort range. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) identified included acetone (67641), toluene (108883), xylene (1330207), pentane (109660), hexane (110543), tetrachloroethane (79345), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (71556). None of the compounds exceeded any applicable exposure limits. Symptoms most often reported included tired or strained eyes, stuffed nose, sinus congestion, irritation of the eyes, tiredness, headache, and dry throat. Several potential problems were noted with the air handling units such as leaking control valves, out of calibration controllers, incorrectly selected or placed sensors, and malfunctioning control systems. The authors conclude that no specific exposure were identified that would explain the symptoms reported by workers. The authors recommend measures to improve the work environment, including implementing a more effective smoking policy, minimizing pesticide spraying, and improving the temperature and humidity control in the building.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-92-166-2318, 59 pages, 34 references