Health hazard evaluation report no. HETA-88-311-0000, Office of Disability Determination, The Howard Building, Tampa, Florida.
In response to a request from the Area Manager of the Office of Disability Determination, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at the Howard Building, Tampa, Florida. Particular concern was voiced with regard to eye irritation, headaches, and fatigue with a possible connection to water leakage into the offices and pigeon nesting areas above suspended ceilings. Studies indicated no carbon-monoxide, nitrogen-dioxide, or formaldehyde concentration in the building. Carbon-dioxide (124389) levels of 1000 parts per million or above were recorded which were indicative of inadequate air exchange between a building and the outdoors. An area was found along the south wall of the building with gross contamination by bird droppings and other debris such as egg shells, decayed birds, insects, straw and other nest materials. Rainwater leakage above the areas where the birds had nested washed the excrement and debris down over the office walls. As much as 2 inches of bird droppings were found on some suspended tiles. The crawl space above the first floor was observed to have health and safety hazards including poor maintenance, poor lighting, dangling electrical wires, and only a single small portal for entry. No evidence was found that the employees had symptoms associated with histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, or psittacosis, nor hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Some of the symptoms were likely allergic rhinitis while others may have resulted from a lack of fresh outdoor air. The authors recommend that specific measures be taken to safely remove the bird debris, prevent additional bird inhabitation, improve drainage of condensate water, and provide an outdoor air supply system.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-88-311-0000, 14 pages