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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-047-1295, University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado.
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 83-047-1295, 1983 May; :1-21
Exposures to xylene (1330207), ethyl-alcohol (64175), and formaldehyde (50000) were evaluated in the Histology and Cytology Departments, University of Colorado (SIC-8221), Denver, Colorado, in December, 1982. The request came from the Health Sciences Center. Ten persons worked in the two departments. Breathing zone air samples were collected and analyzed. Formaldehyde samples were also collected. Employees were interviewed and blood counts were taken. Concentrations for xylene ranged from less than 0.01 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) to 58.0mg/m3 (NIOSH criteria: 435mg/m3). Ethyl- alcohol concentrations ranged from less than 0.01mg/m3 to 250mg/m3, which was well below NIOSH criteria. Detectable concentrations of formaldehyde were measured on all but 3 of 13 samples. Specific concentrations were not reported because of sampling difficulties. Nine workers reported occasional work related headaches, and half had skin problems related to solvent exposure. Four had slight elevations of lactate-dehydrogenase which was weakly correlated with their time weighted average m-xylene (108383) exposure. The investigators conclude that a health hazard from formaldehyde exposure did exist at the time of the survey in the tissue processing room. There were also medical problems due to mixed solvent exposure by inhalation and dermal contacts. They recommend routine medical examinations and installation of increased ventilation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-8; Hazards-Confirmed; Clinical-symptoms; Exposure-levels; Breathing-atmospheres; HETA-83-047-1295; Author Keywords: Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; Formaldehyde; Histology and Cytology Laboratories; Xylene; Ethyl Alcohol; Headaches; Dermatitis; Liver Function Tests
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division