Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2003-0368-2961, Nye County Justice Court Building, Pahrump, Nevada.
On September 12, 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request from employees to evaluate health concerns thought to be related to the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the Nye County Justice Court Building (NCJCB) in Pahrump, Nevada. In response to this request, NIOSH investigators conducted telephone interviews with requesters, building health and safety personnel, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors, NCJCB legal counsel, and consultants who performed sampling and remediation at the NCJCB. We also reviewed OSHA reports, data from air and surface samples, and reports of past building remediation activities. We found that the employees' health concerns and building odors could be explained by the presence of hydrogen sulfide from sewer gases in the NCJCB. It also appears that the NCJCB had a moisture problem caused by failures of several building-related components. Repair of the sewer lines and recent remediation of the moisture problems should alleviate or reduce the cause for employee concerns. NIOSH investigators determined that employee symptoms and odor reports were most likely due to hydrogen sulfide and other sewer gases from the sewer main. Moisture intrusion problems have been remediated. Based on evaluation of available information, there was no convincing evidence of significant building mold contamination or mold exposure among employees.