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HHE determination report no. HHE-79-74-653, Star Dust Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 79-74-653, 1980 Jan; :1-11
Area air sampling and medical surveys were conducted at the Star Dust Hotel (SIC-7011) in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 26 and July 17, 1979 to investigate complaints of sewer odors associated with nausea, headaches, and upper respiratory symptoms among hotel telephone operators. The evaluation request came from an authorized representative of the Teamster's Union, Local 995 on behalf of 28 telephone operators. Air sampling analysis revealed 0.01 to 0.03 parts per million (ppm) of toluene (108883), 0.02 to 0.05ppm of tetrachloroethylene (127184), and 0.31 to 0.97 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) of total hydrocarbons. The current OSHA standards for toluene and tetrachloroethylene are 20 and 100ppm for an 8 hour time weighted average, respectively. No hydrogen sulfide was detected, however odors were evident at several locations. Ventilation for the air conditioning unit was inadequate. The employees commonly reported eye and throat irritations, an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth, and irritations of the skin and lips. The authors conclude that no hazardous exposures existed at the time of the survey, but the poor ventilation system was allowing hydrogen sulfide gas to enter the air conditioning unit. The vapors from the sewer sump tank should be vented to the outside air, and the tank effluent should be regularly treated with chemical enzymes. The air conditioning system should be redesigned, and the unit should be relocated. The room housing the sump tank should be kept under negative pressure.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HHE-79-74-653; Hotels-motels; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Unions; Data-collection; Physiological-effects; Ventilation-systems; Air-sampling; Air-contamination; Sanitation; Odor-control; Region-9 Author Keywords: hydrogen sulfide; H2S; volatile hydrocarbon; toluene; tetrachloroethylene; odors; irritation
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division