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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-044-866, Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, Xenia, Ohio.

Jannerfeldt E; Hartle R
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 81-044-866, 1981 Apr; :1-9
In response to a request from the Ohio Department of Industrial Relations, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (SIC-9441), Xenia, Ohio. This office deals with job referrals and unemployment claims. Approximately 1000 persons visit this office per day with each visit lasting about 30 minutes. Several workers and several visitors were taken ill on June 26, 1980, claiming to have smelled an ammonia like odor. No common cause was detected by clinical evaluation of the individuals. The following day several other workers and visitors were taken ill. Very little movement of air was detected during smoke tube tests at the breathing zone level throughout the office area. Frequently, the temperature in the offices was excessive. The analyses of air samples failed to reveal the presence of any toxic substance. However, the deficiency in the flow and volume of ventilation, in conjunction with high concentrations of tobacco smoke, may have contributed significantly to the illnesses experienced. The authors conclude that at the time of the evaluation, a health hazard did not exist in the office. Deficiencies in the ventilation system combined with high levels of tobacco smoke may have contributed to the effects. The authors recommend that ventilation surveys be conducted and that the system be upgraded. The services of a commercial heating and air conditioning firm were suggested to complete the duct work for the return air system. Smoking should be discouraged in the office and in the waiting area.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-81-044-866; Region-5; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Tobacco-smoke; Office-workers; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Eye-irritants; Ventilation-equipment; Author Keywords: Administration of Social, Manpower, and Income Maintenance Programs; office; ventilation; eye irritation; breathing difficulties; dizziness
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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