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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-99-0294-2775, Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver Colorado.

Authors
Esswein-EJ
Source
NIOSH 2000 Jan; :1-6
NIOSHTIC No.
20000594
Abstract
A health hazard evaluation (HHE) was requested by management at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Exempla St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver, Colorado. The request concerned possible exposures to natural rubber latex (NRL) proteins. Employees reported rhinitis, sneezing, rash, watery eyes, and aggravation of allergic symptoms. A reservoir of dust was found within the NICU; exhaust from the central vacuum cleaning system was leaking into the ceiling plenum of an area adjacent to the NICU. The system exhausted vacuumed carpet dust into the ceiling plenum, rather than to the outside, as designed. The use of pressure measurements and carbon dioxide tracer gas demonstrated that a potential pathway existed for the movement of airborne dusts from the affected plenum to the adjacent plenum over the NICU. Two air samples, six surface samples, and two bulk dust samples were collected. Concentrations of NRL ranged from below the limit of detection [<1 allergy units (AU) per milliliter of extracted sample] to 4.2 AUs. Eight of the ten samples were in a range considered to be trace concentrations. The two NRL air samples were reported at less than the limit of detection and 1.8 AU. No mechanical or maintenance deficiencies and no visible microbiological contamination were identified in the air handling unit serving the NICU. A water leak in the NICU was identified, and remediated by hospital personnel.
Keywords
Latex-gloves; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Vacuum-cleaners; Carpets; Dust
Publication Date
20000101
Document Type
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
PB2000-107835
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
HETA-99-0294-2775
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
SIC Code
8062
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
OH; CO
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