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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-052-1623, Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage, Alaska.

Authors
Apol A
Source
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 85-052-1623, 1985 Sep; :1-14
NIOSHTIC No.
00144606
Abstract
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000), ethanol (64175), and xylene (1330207) at the Alaska Native Hospital (SIC-8071), Anchorage, Alaska, in November, 1984 and March, 1985. The evaluation was requested by the Environmental Health Section of the Indian Health Service to determine employee exposure to the compounds in the histology laboratory. The employees were interviewed regarding current and past adverse health effects. Exposures to the pathologist were: formaldehyde, 0.50 to 1.23 parts per million (ppm); ethanol, 8.2ppm; and xylene, 0.5ppm. A technician was exposed to 3.9ppm xylene. The OSHA standards are: formaldehyde, 3ppm; ethanol, 1,000ppm; and xylene, 100ppm. General air concentrations were: ethanol, 9.6ppm; xylene, 1.3ppm; and formaldehyde, 0.4ppm. During tissue examination, formaldehyde concentrations ranged up to 0.81ppm. The pathologist reported eye irritation and tearing. The author concludes that the pathologist is potentially exposed to toxic concentrations of formaldehyde. Ethanol and xylene do not present a health hazard. Recommendations include designing and installing a new local exhaust system where gross tissue examinations are conducted, performing tissue examinations in a hood, and informing all employees of the hazards of formaldehyde, which is considered a potential carcinogen by NIOSH.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Medical-facilities; Region-10; Environmental-factors; Breathing-zone; Exposure-levels; Air-sampling; HETA-85-052-1623; Author Keywords: Medical Laboratories; Formaldehyde; Ethyl Alcohol; Xylene; Ventilation
CAS No.
50-00-0; 64-17-5; 1330-20-7
Publication Date
19850901
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
1985
NTIS Accession No.
PB86-192630
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
HETA-85-052-1623
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
SIC Code
8071
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
AK; OH
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