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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-291-2151, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Washington, D.C.

Burr GA; Shults R
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 91-291-2151, 1991 Oct; :1-12
In response to a request by the Counsel to the Secretary for Drug Abuse Policy (SIC-9441), a study was undertaken of possible hazardous working conditions in a small office with seven professionals which was located on the sixth floor of the seven story Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C. The complaints from the employees included flu like upper respiratory symptoms, eye irritation, headache, diffuse rash, fever, and joint pain. A black material, described as soot or sludge, was mentioned which they felt may have originated from the ventilation system in the building. All seven employees in the office and three workers from other offices on the same floor were interviewed. Carbon-dioxide concentrations ranged from 425 to 675 parts per million. Temperature and relative humidity were within ASHRAE guidelines. There was mold growth near some of the fan coil units on the ventilation system and was likely due to high humidity conditions possibly caused by exterior windows being opened during the work day. No reason was found to suspect the fever, diffuse rash, and joint pain mentioned by some of the workers had any occupational relationship. The authors conclude that no hazardous working conditions were found during the survey. The authors recommend that any surfaces having visible mold growth be cleaned and disinfected; the the ventilation system for the entire building should be tested and rebalanced.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-291-2151; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Office-workers; Indoor-air-pollution; Ventilation-systems; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Administration of Social, Human Resource and Income Maintenance Programs; indoor air quality; carbon dioxide; temperature; relative humidity; ventilation
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division