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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-006-1639, First National Bank, Chicago, Illinois.

Orris P; Hryhorczuk D; Kominsky J; Burton W; Hinkamp D
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 84-006-1639, 1985 Dec; :1-19
A health hazard evaluation at the First National Bank building (SIC- 4911, SIC-9224), Chicago, Illinois in September 1983 was conducted. The evaluation was requested by the fire department to obtain technical assistance concerning potential toxic effects from a fire occurring in a transformer vault beneath the building. Environmental samples were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs). Blood samples from two firemen hospitalized for smoke inhalation and two maintenance workers were analyzed for PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs. PCB contamination was limited to the vault, the concentration being 20,900 micrograms per square foot (microg/ft2). Air PCB concentrations in the vault 4 hours after the fire averaged 58microg per cubic meter (m3). The NIOSH standard for PCBs is 1microg/m3. A surface wipe sample contained 114microg/ft2 total PCDF and PCDD. The transformer oil contained 5.1 parts per million PCDFs. Serum PCB concentrations in the exposed individuals were below 10 parts per billion. No PCDFs or PCDDs were detected. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard from PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs existed during the fire. Recommendations include registering PCB containing transformers with the fire department and wearing respiratory protection when responding to suspected PCB fires.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Office-workers; Region-5; Toxic-effects; Chemical-composition; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Environmental-factors; HETA-84-006-1639; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; Electrical Services; Firefighters; Polychlorinated Biphenyls; PCB; Polychlorinated Dibenzo Dioxins; PCDD; Polychlorinated Dibenzo Furans; PCDF; TCDD; Dioxin
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
4911; 9224
Source Name
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