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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-431-1916, Bolles Opera House, West Chicago, Illinois.
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 87-431-1916, 1988 Jul; :1-16
In response to a request from the public health advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency, an evaluation was made of the extent of mercury (7439976) contamination at the Bolles Opera House (SIC-7399), West Chicago, Illinois, which was being used for conversion of hardcopies into microfilm and microfiche. The previous owner of the building had used the facility as a sales office and laboratory for producing thorium. During renovations, inorganic mercury spilled onto the floor when drain traps and drain pipes on the second floor were broke open. Attempts were made to clean the spill, but some mercury remained in cracks in the wooden floors. Spill areas were then covered with either carpet or linoleum. Fourteen rooms or areas in the building had detectable mercury levels, mostly under the recommended exposure limits of 50 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3). One reading in the basement where the mercury contaminated plumbing was stored was 82microg/m3. Urine samples collected from 12 workers showed levels below the limit of detection of 4 micrograms per gram of creatinine. The author concludes that a health hazard did not exist from mercury exposure at the time of the evaluation. The author recommends that the contaminated pipes be removed and disposed of properly, that the basement be cleaned correctly, and that the city of West Chicago be notified that the previous owner disposed of unknown amounts of mercury via the city's sewer system.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-87-431-1916; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-5; Heavy-metals; Air-quality; Mercury-vapors;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division