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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-242-1019, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
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 81-242-1019, 1981 Dec; :1-9
Symptoms of respiratory distress and illness among employees of the University of Miami (SIC-8221), in Coral Gables, Florida, were investigated on August 3, 1981. An unidentified individual requested the evaluation on behalf of an unspecified number of employees in one building of the university. Interviews with several university employees working in the affected building and others knowledgeable of the situation revealed complaints of respiratory distress, mold growing on books and furniture, and damp, musty smells in the building. These complaints were verified by visual inspection. Samples of air conditioner condensate contained no known potential human pathogens. Air samples analyzed for 22 organic vapors showed no or very low vapor concentrations. Mold and mildew were noted on furnishings and on books located in the building. The author concludes that excessive humidity in the building was responsible for the musty odor detected in several rooms and creates an environment in which microorganisms can multiply. He recommends the draining of air cooling unit condensate pans, lowering of the building humidity, and periodic treatment of residual condensates with an effective disinfectant.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-4; Health-surveys; Environmental-factors; Author Keywords: Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; Respiratory Symptoms; Mildew; Mold; Humidity
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