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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-058-1037, Blue Cross of Northeastern New York, Inc., Slingerlands, New York.
Baker D; Fannick N
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 81-058-1037, 1982 Jan; :1-20
Environmental sampling for particulates, temperature and humidity, and medical interviews with 125 employees were conducted at Blue Cross of Northeastern New York, Incorporated (SIC-6324), on December 3 and 4, 1980, and during February 1981. An unspecified individual requested the evaluation on behalf of 67 employees who reported symptoms of contact dermatitis. Fibrous glass (14808607) was detected in area air samples, but in concentrations too low to quantify. The OSHA standard for fibrous glass is 15 milligrams per cubic meter. Eight of 10 wipe samples contained fibrous glass. Asbestos was not found in any air samples, although three of the positive wipe samples contained amosite (12172735) asbestos. The proportion of fibrous glass and asbestos in the wipe samples approximated the composition of a sprayed on insulation used within the ceiling plenum. Relative humidity averaged 18 percent and the average temperature was 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Complaints reported by interviewed workers were consistent with primary particulate irritant dermatitis. The authors conclude that the reported skin disorders probably resulted from exposure to the fibrous glass used in the building insulation. They recommend cessation of work in the ceiling plenum when office employees are present, use of a light gauze over open ceiling panels, sealing of the open fibrous glass blankets, good general cleaning, maintaining a relative humidity of at least 30 percent, and medical treatment for workers with severe dermatologic problems.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-81-058-1037; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-2; Health-surveys; Environmental-factors; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Hospital and Medical Service Plans; closed office building; fibrous glass; mineral wool; asbestos; low humidity; dermatitis
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division