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Technical Assistance Report No. TA-78-70, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C.
Gorman RW; Singal M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 78-70, 1979 Feb; :1-10
Environmental samples were analyzed, office areas were inspected, and employees were interviewed at the Central Intelligence Agency (SIC-9711), Logistics Depot, Washington, D. C., on November 6, 1978, to determine the cause of an outbreak of skin lesions. The evaluation was requested by the management on behalf of 10 affected employees. Bulk air samples were collected on charcoal and florisil tubes, or open faced filters, and seven employees were interviewed. Cause of the outbreak was not determined. Environmental sampling revealed no substances that would cause the type of dermatologic problems reported. Insects were not the cause of the problem, and contact with a pyrethrin insecticide was not considered the source of skin problems. The investigators conclude that mass suggestion resulting from excessive concern over white particles coming from materials ordinarily present in the office was a factor in the skin outbreak. A possible initial cause might have been related to airborne mineral fibers associated with roof repair activities. They recommend that if the problems recur, the lesions be seen by a dermatologist as soon as possible and the involvement of mineral fibers be considered. They recommend discontinuing repeated applications of insecticides and paying special attention to the types of materials stored on the office roof.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-78-70; Region-3; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Air-sampling; Health-surveys; Skin-disorders; Occupational-health; Industrial-hygiene
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division