HHE Report No. HETA-87-171-1840, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Trenton, New Jersey.
In response to a request from the Communication Workers of America Local 1032, an investigation of skin rash, sore throat, headache, runny nose, watery eyes, and inability to use contact lenses was made at the New Jersey Department of Transportation (SIC-9451) in Trenton, New Jersey. Air was sampled for formaldehyde (50000), volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon-dioxide (124389), carbon- monoxide (630080), ammonia (7664417), relative humidity, and dry bulb temperature. An evaluation was made of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. The highest formaldehyde level was 0.094 parts per million (ppm), just below the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers recommended level (0.097ppm). Carbon-dioxide levels were 400 to 1100ppm. Volume of outdoor air at three air handling units was 5 to 79 cubic feet/minute/person. Relative humidity was 28 to 34 percent; New Jersey Department of Health recommended 40 to 60 percent. Of 1200 employees, 828 completed questionnaires about health status and nature and extent of building related complaints, to pinpoint problem areas. While workers on the second and seventh floors had the most symptoms and complaints, there was no association between symptoms and any measurements taken. Recommendations include lowering indoor air temperature, which might result in decreased formaldehyde levels, complete assessment of the building ventilation system, increase in amount of outdoor air supplied, and increase in humidity levels.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-87-171-1840, 30 pages, 21 references