Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-154-0000, Centre County State Health Center, State College, Pennsylvania.
In response to a request from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, an evaluation was made of worker health complaints including burning of the eyes, throat, and nose, among the staff at the Centre County State Health Center, State College, Pennsylvania. The building was 1 year old, and had only three or four windows (none of which opened). A survey indicated elevated levels of carbon-dioxide (124389) were present, there were deficiencies in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, humidity was low and the humidifier was inoperative, and the outside air intake valve was downwind of service station air pollutant emission sources. No carbon-monoxide, nitrogen-dioxide, formaldehyde, or gasoline was detected in the air. Toluene and hydrocarbons were detected, but not at unusual levels. Siloxane compounds were detected in the building air. Volatile organic compounds ranged from 101 to 231 micrograms/cubic meter. A questionnaire concerning indoor air quality was administered to workers. Case histories of three workers previously diagnosed with pneumonia were reviewed. No causative agent was identified. The author concludes that the HVAC system deficiencies were probably the primary contribution factors to employee discomfort. The author makes recommendations which address each of the difficulties in the ventilation system.