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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-001-1995, Broward County Library, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Elliott LJ; Gupta S; Sinks T
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 88-001-1995, 1989 Nov; :1-28
In response to a request from the Director of Libraries in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, an evaluation was undertaken of possible poor air quality in the Main Library Building (SIC-8231). The building was eight stories high, and about 300 county employees worked in this building. Soon after the building was opened in April of 1984, workers began to complain of eye and upper airway irritation, difficulty in breathing and headaches. Particularly on the fifth floor, where government documents were housed, the employees suffered allergy like symptoms. Some documents had visible growths of mold on their covers. The building had repeated problems with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and numerous rainwater leaks occurred. All air samples collected for viable aerosols contained very low counts of mold, and no thermophilic or mesophilic actinomycetes were found. Formaldehyde was found in air samples at levels from less than 0.01 to 0.07 parts per million. Measurements were taken of temperature, relative humidity, and carbon-dioxide (124389). The carbon-dioxide measurements in some places in the library approached the point which indicated that inadequate quantities of fresh air were being distributed to an occupied space. The authors conclude that the employees' symptoms were not the result of exposure to molds released through the ventilation system. However, the work with historical documents did appear to be related with the health complaints of the workers. The authors recommend measures to improve the air quality of the building.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-4; HETA-88-001-1995; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Air-quality-monitoring; Indoor-air-pollution; Office-workers; Closed-building-syndrome; Workplace-studies; Ventilation-systems; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Libraries and Information Centers; indoor air quality; mold; microorganisms; viable aerosol sampling; library; historical documents; formaldehyde
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division