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HHE technical assistance report no. TA-80-32.
Apol AG; Frederick L; Shulte PA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 80-32, 1980 Jun; :1-16
Environmental sampling and medical surveys were conducted between February 5 and 15, 1980 at 12 schools (SIC-2731) using spirit duplicating equipment in the Everett School District of Washington. The evaluation request came from an authorized representative of the Public School Employees of Washington to determine if a methyl- alcohol (67561) exposure hazard existed for the district's 84 teacher aides and if the deaths of three former teacher's aides were related to exposure. The 15 minute methyl-alcohol air concentration from 20 duplicators with no local exhaust ventilation ranged from 365 to 3,080 parts per million (ppm). The NIOSH recommended standard of 800ppm for a 15 minute period was exceeded in 15 of the 20 measurements. When 11 local exhaust ventilation systems were put in operation, concentrations ranged from 80 to 1,340ppm with only one measurement exceeding 800ppm. Additional exposures reduced concentrations to a range of 9 to 130ppm. The questionnaire survey revealed that 45 percent of the teacher's aides experienced some symptoms consistent with methyl-alcohol toxicity. Review of the death certificates and autopsy information of the three deceased aides gave no indication that their deaths were related to methyl- alcohol exposure. The authors note that 75 percent of the spirit duplicating machines tested exceeded the methyl-alcohol exposure limits recommended by NIOSH, but that simple engineering controls were available to reduce these exposures.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-80-32; Region-10; Elementary-and-secondary-schools; Hazard-Confirmed; Duplicating-machines; Office-machines; Education; Alcohols;
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division