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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-141-1322, U.S. E.P.A. Central Regional Laboratory, Annapolis, Maryland.
Hickey JL; Williams TM
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 83-141-1322, 1983 Jun; :1-14
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000) and 22 other organic compounds at the EPA Central Regional Laboratory (SIC-7397, SIC-8017, SIC-9511), Annapolis, Maryland in March 1983. The request was made by the laboratory because some of the 37 employees experienced respiratory distress, headaches, eye irritation, ear discomfort, bloody noses, and malaise at work. They also complained of odors. The air samples showed formaldehyde concentrations of 0.01 to 0.12 parts per million (ppm). The current OSHA standard for formaldehyde is 3ppm. Tests for the other compounds e negative. Airborne particulates were less than 0.1 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3); the OSHA standard is 15mg/m3. Relative humidity was found to be 17 percent. Air from the sewer serving the laboratory was found to be entering several rooms through empty traps or unused connections. No specific cause of the symptoms was found. The authors conclude that exposure to 0.1ppm formaldehyde could cause eye and respiratory irritation in some persons. They recommend that the relative humidity be maintained at 40 percent, ventilation be improved, and the unused sewer traps be blocked off.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-3; Air-sampling; Industrial-ventilation; Clinical-symptoms; Employee-exposure; HETA-83-141-1322
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
7397; 8017; 9511
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division