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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-288-1828, Henry Ford High School, Detroit, Michigan.
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 87-288-1828, 1987 Aug; :1-12
In response to a request from teachers in the Henry Ford High School (SIC-8211) located in Detroit, Michigan, a study was made of possible malfunctions of polychlorinated biphenyl (1336363) (PCB) containing fluorescent light ballasts which were suspected of being causally related to increased occurrences of respiratory symptoms, sore throats, and headaches. Surface wipe samples and air samples were analyzed in four classrooms where complaints had originated and in three reference rooms where no symptoms had been reported. No levels of PCB air concentrations were found exceeding 0.1 microgram/cubic meter (microg/m3) in any reference room. In three of four index rooms, PCB concentrations were recorded at 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4microg/m3, which were below the NIOSH recommended exposure level (1microg/m3 time weighted average). Surface wipe samples from student and teacher desk tops averaged 1.3 micrograms per square meter (microg/m2), with a maximum of 2.4microg/m2. On low contact surfaces, PCB concentrations ranged from 1.6 to 9.2microg/m2. The authors suggest that occupational exposure limits may not be appropriate for this population, which contains many adolescents for whom exposure should be kept to an absolute minimum. The authors recommend that all PCB containing fluorescent light ballasts be replaced with ballasts not containing PCBs. Special interim precautions are recommended in the event of a PCB containing ballast failing before it can be replaced.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-87-288-1828; Region-5; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Teaching; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Lighting-systems; Author Keywords: Elementary and Secondary Schools; polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; fluorescent light ballast; irritation symptoms; indoor air
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