HHE report no. HHE-80-176-955, New England Telephone Company, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 80-176-955, 1981 Sep; :1-10
Environmental air samples and wipe samples were analyzed for contaminants responsible for reported adverse health reactions among 16 employees at the New England Telephone Company (SIC-4811) in Manchester, New Hampshire, on July 25, 1980. A representative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 2320, requested the evaluation on behalf of approximately 300 workers. Workers had complained of skin rash, itching, eye irritation, and dry throat. Environmental analysis using colorimetric detector tubes revealed no unusual chemical exposure. Wipe samples of dust revealed particles of sodium (7440235), silica (7631869), chlorine (7782505), calcium (7440702), sulfur (7704349), iron (7439896), mineral wool, fibrous glass, cotton fibers, wood cellulose fibers, and chrysotile-asbestos (12001295). Direct reading total dust concentrations in air indicated low concentrations on the order of 0.15 milligram per cubic meter. The authors concludes that no causative agent responsible for reported health complaints could be identified, although the onset of symptoms may have been related to the construction of a computer room. He recommends that the ventilation system be balanced after any modification of the building, isolation of the construction process, and thorough clean up of materials and residues after construction is completed.