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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-418-1449, Randolph County Register of Deeds Office, Asheboro, North Carolina.

Hickey JL; Williams TM
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 83-418-1449, 1984 Apr; :1-13
In response to a request from employees of Randolph County Courthouse, a health hazard evaluation was made of the Register of Deeds Office (SIC-9199, SIC-9390), Asheboro, North Carolina. Employees at this site had complained of sinus headaches, colds that hung on, and burning eyes. Some complained of headaches or sinus problems whenever they worked for some time in the office. Symptoms were most pronounced in winter and when the air conditioner was on. Five general air samples collected showed formaldehyde (50000) concentrations ranging from 0.19 to 0.69 parts per million (ppm). Air samples showed 0.34ppm formaldehyde inside built in wooded office cabinets and 0.05ppm in general office air. Temperature was 75 to 77 degrees-F and relative humidity was 40 to 50%. Three air samples analyzed for 23 common organic vapors showed only trace amounts of all except benzene (71432) for which the concentration ranged from 0.38 to 0.54ppm. Bulk samples of sprayed on beam insulating material in the return air plenum were analyzed for asbestos and found to contain none. Water seals of floor drains in three restrooms were empty, permitting sewer gas to enter the building. The authors conclude that no definite cause of workers symptoms was found, although formaldehyde levels were high enough to affect sensitive individuals. Due to the carcinogenic nature of formaldehyde and benzene, and since safe levels for exposure have not been determined, the authors recommend measures for lowering the exposure to these compounds even further.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-83-418-1449; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-4; Air-quality-monitoring; Indoor-air-pollution; Respiratory-system-disorders; Office-workers; Closed-building-syndrome; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: General Government, NEC; formaldehyde; benzene; ventilation; respiratory symptoms; office building
50-00-0; 71-43-2
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
9199; 9390
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division