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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-248-1694, Wasson Elementary School, Dubois, Pennsylvania.
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 84-248-1694, 1986 May; :1-22
The DuBois area school district DuBois, Pennsylvania requested an evaluation due to complaints of bloody nose, dry eyes, upper respiratory irritation, and headaches among students and faculty at the Wasson Elementary School (SIC-8211). All 24 teachers were involved in a questionnaire that focused on medical histories and symptoms related to working in the school. Environmental air samples revealed trace concentrations of organic vapors, primarily toluene (108883) and C9 to C12 hydrocarbons. Carbon-dioxide (124389) levels measured 200 parts per million (ppm) outside and up to 800 ppm inside, suggesting that the amount of fresh air coming into the building was inadequate. The distribution of that air within the building was inadequate. The authors conclude that the health complaints were related to poor indoor air quality caused by deficiencies in the ventilation system. The heating/cooling system had many deficiencies related to design, installation, and maintenance. The authors recommended improvements to be made in the system, including cleaning air filters, adjusting dampers, leaving classroom doors open, using fans to promote mixing of outside air, and setting thermostats at the same setting. After the recommended improvements in the system were made, complaints were greatly reduced.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-3; HETA-84-248-1694; Teachers; Air-quality-control; Air-quality-measurement; Respiratory-irritants; Workplace-studies; Hazard-Confirmed; Author Keywords: Elementary and Secondary Schools; Indoor Air Quality; Formaldehyde; Isocyanates; Ventilation
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