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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-86-372-1796, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Boiano JM; Cantor FL; Burr GA
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 86-372-1796, 1987 May; :1-26
In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Commerce, an evaluation was made of an ongoing mold and mildew problem at the Southeastern Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service (SIC-9512) located in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Office workers indicated they were suffering from throat irritation, itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing symptoms. The was traced to an improperly installed all water heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. Deficiencies in the system resulted in water damage, high humidity and the growth of mold and mildew on all surfaces. Dehumidifiers were useful in reducing the humidity level, and therefore the growth of mildew and mold, but there was still some visible contamination on room surfaces. Airborne levels of total viable microorganisms averaged 1,236 colony forming units per cubic meter of air. The most abundant fungal species isolated were Acremonium species. When the results of a medical questionnaire were compared to levels of fungal contamination there was no statistically significant association between the occurrence of illness and exposure to microorganisms. The authors recommend that insulation which was presently on the pipes and condenser drain lines be replaced to eliminate the moisture incursion problems, that all nonporous surfaces be disinfected, and that all nondisposable building contents be cleaned with a vacuum incorporating a high efficiency particulate air filter. Materials which could not be adequately cleaned were to be discarded.
NIOSH-Publication; HETA-86-372-1796; Region-4; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Office-workers; Molds; Air-contamination; Air-sampling; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Eye-disorders; Author Keywords: Land, Mineral, Wildlife, and Forest Conservation; indoor air quality; mold; mildew; microbiological contamination; viable air sampling
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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