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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-103-964, United Nations, New York, New York.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 81-103-964, 1981 Jan; :1-16
Worker complaints of temperature extremes, lack of ventilation, and low humidity were investigated in November, 1980 and January, February, June, and September, 1981 at the United Nations (SIC-9712) in New York, New York. The evaluation was requested by the Director of the Medical Service of the United Nations on behalf of about 930 employees who filed a petition concerning the poor work environment. Workers completed symptom questionnaires, and temperature, air movement, humidity, concentrations of carbon-monoxide (630080) (CO), formaldehyde (50000), and organic vapors were measured. The employees reported dry skin, fatigue, and eye, nose, and throat irritations. CO concentration were well below the OSHA standard of 50 parts per million. Formaldehyde and organic vapors were not detected. Temperature and humidity were not consistent throughout the building and varied from day to day. Several thermostats were broken. Air circulation was insufficient throughout the building. The authors conclude tha workers' health complaints are due to insufficient air flow and poorly regulated heat and humidity. Recommendations include removal of broken thermostats, monitoring of temperature, humidity, and air flow, and improvement of communications between employees and the Staff Council.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-81-103-964; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-2; Heat-stress; Ventilation-systems; Physical-stress; Thermal-effects; Clinical-symptoms; Air-quality-measurement; Heating-systems; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Air-conditioning; Author Keywords: International Affairs; closed office building; indoor air quality; low humidity; air flow; dry skin; eye irritation; fatigue
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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