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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-349-2311, Rhode Island Department of Education, Providence, Rhode Island.

Kaiser EA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 91-349-2311, 1993 May; :1-34
In response to a request from the Professional Employees Union, Local 2012, an investigation was begun into health and comfort complaints at the Rhode Island Department of Education facility (SIC- 8211), Providence, Rhode Island. Friable asbestos (1332214) exposures were also a concern. Water damaged ceiling tiles and carpeting, missing and broken stair treads, pest infestations, mold growth, and potential fire hazards were noted during a walk through survey. Broken or improperly installed air conditioners failed to adequately maintain comfortable conditions during the summer months. No mechanical means for supplying fresh outside air was present. Carbon-dioxide (124389) levels ranged from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 900ppm in occupied areas. Temperature ranged from 73 to 77 degrees-F with relative humidity between 35 and 42%. Of the workers responding to a health questionnaire, 55% suffered from allergies and 59% frequently experienced both headache and fatigue. Bulk insulation samples from pipe lagging and the furnace surface contained 30 to 50% chrysotile (12001295) asbestos. Two of five air samples in the furnace room indicated the presence of airborne asbestos. Paint chip samples from the furnace room contained 0.44 and 2.19% inorganic lead (7439921). The author concludes that health complaints could not be related to an identifiable environmental contaminant. There were potential exposures to lead and asbestos in basement work areas. The author recommends that specific measures be taken to control lead and asbestos exposures and to remedy other identified conditions.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-349-2311; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Asbestos-fibers; Insulation-materials; Work-environment; Office-workers; Indoor-air-pollution; Occupational-exposure; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Educational Facilities; Indoor Air Quality; Asbestos; Carbon Dioxide; Temperature; Indoor Environmental Quality; Relative Humidity; Lead
1332-21-4; 124-38-9; 12001-29-5; 7439-92-1
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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