HHE report: HETA-81-353-981, Gray Concrete Pipe Company, Thomasville, N.C.
Bishop-CC; Deubner-DC; Hickey-JL; Tulis-JJ; Williams-T
NIOSH 1981 Oct; :1-16
The cause of recurrent pulmonary illness in one employee at the Gray Concrete Pipe Company (SIC-3272) in Thomasville, North Carolina was investigated on July 6, 1981. The evaluation was requested by an unspecified company representative on behalf of 18 employees concerned about potential exposure to Legionella-pneumophila (L- pneumophila). Water samples from the air conditioning system were analyzed for microorganisms, air samples were analyzed for organic vapors, and workers were interviewed and tested for Legionella antibodies. No L-pneumophila organisms were found, but several other bacterial and fungal species were identified. The only organic vapors detected were 1,1,1-trichloroethane (71556) and isopropanol (67630), and concentrations were far below recommended limits. All of the workers, including the one with repeated respiratory illness, were negative for Legionella antibodies. Humidity within the building was high. The authors conclude that the pulmonary problems of the affected worker are not due to L- pneumophila but are due to contamination of the work area with gram negative microorganisms, compounded by the high humidity level. They suggest reducing condensate accumulation in the air cooling units and ducts, lowering the relative humidity in the office, using disinfectants to reduce microbial buildup, and improving ventilation.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-81-353-981; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-4; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Case-studies; Health-surveys; Infectious-diseases; Air-contamination; Control-methods; Workplace-studies; Medical-screening; Allergic-reactions; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 16 pages, 7 references