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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-329-1498, Southern Bell, Atlanta, Georgia.
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 83-329-1498, 1984 Aug; :1-19
Area samples were analyzed for methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933), benzene (71432), and petroleum distillates at the Southern Bell (SIC-3661) Central Computer Facility, Atlanta, Georgia in September and November, 1983. The survey was requested by OSHA to investigate the occurrence of spontaneous abortions at the facility. A total of 139 female employees in two control data and one data processing center were interviewed. The incidence of abortions occurring when the employees worked at the facility was determined and compared with the incidence when they worked elsewhere. The ventilation system was inspected. All solvent concentrations were below relevant standards. About 43 percent of the pregnancies at the facility resulted in miscarriage, whereas the normal incidence is 15 to 20 percent. Employees experiencing miscarriages tended to clean tape drives and smoke more than females with normal births. Maternal age and video display terminal use could not be correlated with abortion incidence. The ventilation system required 93 minutes for every air change. The author concludes that a statistically significant increase in spontaneous abortions has occurred. No etiological agent could be identified. The excess abortions could be due to chance. Recommendations include increasing ventilation system air flow and using protective gloves when working with solvents.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Computers; Region-4; Radiation-injury; Solvent-extraction; Ventilation; Pregnancy; Author Keywords: Telephone and Telegraph Apparatus; Miscarriages; Video Display Terminals
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division