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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-054-1936, U.S. Customs Service, Washington, D.C.
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 88-054-1936, 1988 Nov; :1-17
In response to a request from the National Treasury Employees Union, an investigation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the headquarters of the U.S. Customs Service (SIC-9311), Washington, D.C. An electrical transformer located in the headquarters building leaked about 30 gallons of a cooling oil known to contain polychlorinated-biphenyls (1336363) (PCBs) in the fall of 1987. The extent of the PCB contamination was determined during this investigation. Air and surface sampling was performed in and around room B100 where the transformer vault was located. Area air sampling found no detectable levels of PCBs in the vault, in other areas of the room, in an adjacent office and projection room, or in the hallway. Surfaces within the room, including the vault, were heavily contaminated with PCBs, with surface concentrations ranging from 3720 to 148,000 micrograms per square meter (microg/m2). The basement hallway had surface concentrations of 224, 234, and 321microg/m2. Surface sampling in a nearby office room showed PCB levels to be well below the recognized background concentration. The author concludes that there was a potential health hazard from PCB surface contamination in Room B100. Levels in adjacent areas were above background levels. The author recommends that contaminated surfaces in B100 be cleaned to below 1000microg/m2, and no entry should be allowed until cleanup is complete. The hallway should be cleaned to below 100microg/m2.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-054-1936; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Workplace-studies; Electrical-equipment;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division