HHE Report No. HETA-81-150-994, U.S. Forest Service, St. Maries, Idaho.
Environmental air samples were analyzed for polar and nonpolar vapors and gases, metals, and for 68 specific compounds at the United States Forest Service (SIC-9199), in Saint Maries, Idaho, on February 18 to 20, 1981. A representative of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Safety and Health Management, requested the evaluation on behalf of several workers who reported symptoms of headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, dry throat, eye irritation, irritability or depression, and a metallic taste. Environmental sampling and analysis indicated that there were no inorganic, organic, or biological substances detected at concentrations that would cause the reported symptoms. Analysis of the ventilation system revealed a lack of fresh makeup air and the potential for recirculation of the restroom exhaust air and vent pipe air. The authors conclude that the probable cause of the adverse health problems was the lack of fresh air and the nonuse of all the forced air circulation units. They recommend a minimum of 10 to 15 percent fresh air makeup through the building, the operation of all four ventilation units, modification of the heating and air conditioning units to comply with the engineers recommendations, pressure testing the combustion chambers of the four furnaces, and extention of the bathroom exhaust vents and the sewer vents.
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, 6 pages