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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-026-1599, U.S. Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana.
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 84-026-1599, 1985 May; :1-14
Breathing zone and environmental samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000) at the United States Penitentiary (SIC-9223, SIC-2211), Terre Haute, Indiana in January, 1984. The evaluation was requested by the safety manager to assess formaldehyde exposures among inmates manufacturing bed sheets. The fabric used to make the sheets had been treated with a formaldehyde containing resin to make it wrinkle resistant. A questionnaire survey of 25 inmates was conducted to characterize health complaints. Breathing zone formaldehyde concentrations ranged from 0.80 to 1.25 parts per million (ppm), average 1.07ppm and 8 hour area samples averaged 1.05ppm. The OSHA standard for formaldehyde is 3ppm. The most frequently reported symptom was eye irritation, followed by nose irritation, throat irritation, skin irritation, cough and headache, in that order. The author concludes that the formaldehyde exposures, while less than the OSHA limit, are higher than those recommended by NIOSH. NIOSH considers formaldehyde a potential occupational carcinogen and recommends that exposures be maintained at the lowest feasible limit. The inmates experienced irritating symptoms consistent with those from exposure to formaldehyde. The author recommends airing of fabrics prior to use and installing a dilution ventilation system.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Educational-resource-centers; Region-5; Eye-disorders; Quantitative-analysis; Throat; Physiology; HETA-84-026-1599; Author Keywords: Correctional Institutions; Broad Woven Fabric Mills, Cotton; Formaldehyde; Irritation; Eyes; Nose; Throat; Skin
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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