HHE report no. HETA-86-421-1956, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio.
In response to a request from the Assistant Superintendent of Schools expressing concern over health conditions at the Hughes Vocational School (SIC-8249), Cincinnati, Ohio, an evaluation was made of the working conditions in rooms 430, 431, and adjacent areas. The School is a six story brick building, about 125,000 square feet, attached to the Hughes High School. Each floor has its own heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. Air samples for ethylene-oxide (75218) (EtO), formaldehyde (50000), hydrocarbons, and bioaerosols were below all relevant criteria. Temperature and relative humidity levels were within accepted comfort ranges. Levels of carbon-dioxide (124389) at 500 to 1000 parts per million (ppm) inside, and 300ppm outside, indicated that inadequate amounts of fresh air were being delivered to classrooms 431 and 432. The symptoms of respiratory problems were reported in eight of nine persons in these classrooms and included eye irritation, irritation or sores in the mouth, unusual odors, headaches and fatigue. These symptoms have been associated with a lack of enough fresh air, rather than being attributed to a specific toxic agent. The authors conclude that inadequate ventilation was the most likely cause for the symptoms. The authors recommend specific improvements in the ventilation system, including correction of deficiencies, and evaluation of the system by a ventilation contractor.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-86-421-1956, 21 pages, 15 references