Environmental sampling and employee interviews were conducted on August 25, 1980, to investigate the air quality on the east side of the fifth floor of the Hubert Humphrey Building (SIC-9199) in Washington, D.C. The building houses the offices of the Health Budget Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Employees complained about the absence of any air movement in their offices, inadequate temperature control, fainting, sluggishness, headaches and dizziness. The evaluation was requested by representatives of the employees. Short term colorimetric detector tubes were used to measure oxides of nitrogen, ozone (10028156), and formaldehyde (50000). All concentrations were below detection limits. Carbon-dioxide (124389) concentrations ranged from 0.03 to 0.04 percent. Short term carbon-monoxide (630080) concentrations along the road and inside the parking garage were 5 and 10 parts per million (ppm), respectively, and increased to 10 and 20ppm, respectively, during the rush hour. Short term CO concentrations were below detectable limits. Bulk samples analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrophotometry contained concentrations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (71556), toluene (108883) and total aliphatic hydrocarbons of 0.04, 0.01 and less than 0.1ppm, respectively. These concentrations were significantly lower than current occupational health criteria. The author concludes that there were no health hazards due to air quality at the time of the survey. He recommends increased air circulation in the offices.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2 pages