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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-202-2116, Shamokin Elementary, Shamokin, Pennsylvania.
Klein M; Wilcox T; Burr G
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 90-202-2116, 1991 May; :1-28
In response to a request from the management of the school system in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, an evaluation was undertaken of possible hazardous working conditions at the Shamokin Elementary School (SIC- 8211). Health and comfort complaints had included tiredness, irritated eyes, and dry throat. Real time carbon-dioxide (124389), respirable particulate, temperature and relative humidity measurements were made in a selection of rooms throughout the day of the survey. Symptom questionnaires were distributed to all of the teachers and followup interviews were conducted. Supply air flow rates to the classrooms varied widely. Average carbon-dioxide levels ranged from about 800 parts per million (ppm) to over 900ppm. Morning readings of 475 to 1000ppm and afternoon readings of 723 to 1125ppm were noted. Average respirable particulate levels were rising to 76 degrees in the afternoon. Average humidities began at 22% and rose to 27% in the afternoon. Of 51 teachers, 38 frequently experienced two or more building related health complaints. According to the authors, no obvious health hazards were identified. The imbalanced air and faulty control systems appear to have caused overheating of some areas which can result in thermal comfort problems. Low humidity levels are also believed to have exacerbated these problems. The authors recommend measures to solve the problems for the mechanical systems and to relieve occupant symptoms.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-202-2116; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Closed-building-syndrome; Air-quality-control; Ventilation-systems; Teaching; Office-workers; Indoor-air-pollution; Temperature-effects; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Educational Facilities, Elementary and Secondary; Indoor Air Quality; Schools; Carbon Dioxide; Relative Humidity; Particulates
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