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NIOSH testimony to the U.S. Department of Labor on indoor air quality.

Authors
Rosenstock-L
Source
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1996 Dec; 11(12):1365-1370
NIOSHTIC No.
00234655
Abstract
Testimony concerning indoor air quality presented by NIOSH to the United States Department of Labor was discussed. Numerous epidemiological studies were cited implicating environmental tobacco smoke in the development of heart disease and lung cancer. Findings were reported which indicated that prohibiting or restricting cigarette smoking to designated areas in the workplace was both feasible and necessary. The recent research concerning building related illness and sick building syndrome was also discussed. These illnesses were attributed to the poor design, maintenance, and operation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In one study, one or more deficiencies, such as dirty air handler coils, dirty pans under coils, and poor pan drainage, were observed by NIOSH in 93 out of 104 office buildings. Work related symptoms determined among the workers of these buildings included headache, respiratory symptoms, and skin symptoms. Analysis of the NIOSH data also indicated an association between HVAC maintenance quality and symptom frequency. NIOSH agreed with OSHA in recommending that indoor air quality rules focus on nonindustrial environments only. NIOSH also supported OSHA in advising an inspection of ventilation systems if carbon-dioxide (124389) levels exceeded 800 parts per million. NIOSH also recommended a minimum air flow rate of 20 cubic feet per minute. In addition, NIOSH suggested a new risk assessment approach, which incorporated the use of naturally ventilated buildings for background level comparisons with air conditioned buildings. Symptoms were more frequent and severe among the workers of air conditioned buildings than among those of naturally ventilated buildings. The author concludes that, while many problems with indoor air quality are difficult to interpret, NIOSH has identified common deficiencies in building design, maintenance, and operation. Many of these deficiencies can be remedied, resulting in improved worker health.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Indoor-air-pollution; Air-quality-control; Air-quality-monitoring; Cigarette-smoking; Office-workers; Workplace-studies; Health-hazards; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Ventilation-systems; Indoor-environmental-quality
CODEN
AOEHE9
CAS No.
124-38-9
Publication Date
19961201
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
1997
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
12
ISSN
1047-322X
NIOSH Division
OD
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
DC
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