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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-172-1409, Wappingers Central School District, Wappingers Falls, New York.
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 83-172-1409, 1984 Jan; :1-43
Reported illness at three schools (SIC-8211) in Wappingers Falls, New York was investigated in March 1983. Evaluation was requested by the Superintendent of Schools on behalf of students and staff. The reported outbreak of eye irritation, headache, and skin rashes began after completion of an energy conservation program that included application of methylene-bisphenyl-isocyanate (101688) based polyurethane foam insulation, installation of storm windows and water heaters, and sealing of fresh air intakes. One school did not open after the winter break. Air samples were collected, and earlier medical surveys and attendance records were reviewed. Air sampling did not reveal the presence of chemicals associated with insulation material. Boiler gases, indicated by sulfur-dioxide (7446095), were detected at the school that did open; these gases entered the building through an improperly connected water heater flue pipe, and were dispersed throughout the building. Questionnaire review confirmed the prevalence of health complaints. Absence rates and frequency of health clinic visits were not increased. The authors conclude that the outbreak was probably associated with the energy conservation program that severely limited the amount of fresh air in the schools. Repair of the water heater flue pipe connection corrected the problem.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-2; Education; Eye-irritants; Skin-disorders; Insulation-materials; Sulfur-oxides; HETA-83-172-1409
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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