HETA, Report No. TA-79-2, Department of Transportation Vehicle Inspection Stations, Washington, D.C.
Atmospheric air samples were analyzed, and pre and post-shift carboxyhemoglobin levels were measured to determine employee exposures to carbon-monoxide (630080), lead (7439921), asbestos (1332214), hydrogen-sulfide (7783064) and sulfur-dioxide (7446095) at the Northeast and Southwest Vehicle Inspection Stations (SIC- 7549) in Washington, D.C., on November 7 and 8, 1978. The survey was requested by the Office of Administration, Department of Transportation, Government of the District of Columbia, to evaluate exposures of approximately 18 inspectors during routine vehicle inspections. All asbestos, hydrogen-sulfide, and sulfur-dioxide concentrations were below detectable limits. Carbon-monoxide and lead concentrations were below the OSHA standards of 50 parts per million and 20 milligrams per cubic meter, respectively, for an 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) at both facilities. Exposures were affected by weather conditions and the number of vehicles tested daily. The investigator concludes that fluctuating concentrations hampered the evaluation of long term health effects. There was a potential for high exposures to lead and carbon monoxide, especially at the busier Southwest station. Local and increased ventilation at the first and last inspection stops, preemployment cardiovascular medical examinations, personnel rotation, air conditioned squad rooms, vehicle number limitations, daily vacuuming, use of gloves, hand washing, scheduled inspections, and education concerning the hazards of smoking are recommended by the author.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. TA-79-2, 21 pages, 6 references