NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-447-1273, Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon.

Apol AG; Helgerson S; Keenlyside R; Cone J
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 81-447-1273, 1983 Mar; :1-17
In response to a request from the administration of Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon, an investigation was made of possible hazardous working conditions at this site. Peripheral nervous system symptoms had been reported by eight employees of the home economics department who worked on the lower floor of the Health Technology Building. The ventilation system was examined, environmental samples were collected in the building, and a medical survey was conducted. The laundry, dental lab and dental clinic were found to generate potential airborne contaminants. Epidemiological testing revealed very little objective evidence that the neurological symptoms may have arisen from a common exposure and the clinical features of the disorders did not appear related to a toxic neuropathy. At least six of the persons reporting symptoms were diagnosed as having carpal tunnel syndrome which, while sometimes job related, stems from ergonomic rather than chemical factors. However, the authors recommend that certain measures be taken to improve the ventilation in this facility and reduce air contamination. All gas and diesel vehicles should be prohibited from entering the area by the laundry as the air intake for the ventilation system is located there. Oily rags and mops should be washed only on Saturday afternoons or preferably not at all at this facility. A shroud or hood should be installed over the autoclave in the dental clinic. A liquid laundry detergent which does not contain a large proportion of kerosene should be substituted for the presently used product.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-81-447-1273; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Laboratory-workers; Laundering; Nervous-system-disorders; Region-10; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Air-contamination; Air-quality; Author Keywords: Junior Colleges, Community Colleges; carpal tunnel syndrome; dental chemicals; laundry products; peripheral neuropathy; ventilation
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division