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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0126-2358, Lakeland Jr-Sr High School, Jermyn, Pennsylvania.

Tepper A; Martinez KF; Buchta T
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 92-0126-2358, 1993 Oct; :1-30
In response to a request from the superintendent of the Lakeland School District (SIC-8211), an investigation was begun into the occurrences of bacterial illnesses among employees of the Lakeland Junior Senior High School in Jermyn, Pennsylvania. In 1992 the estimated occupancy was 800 individuals, of whom 10% were adults. Symptoms reported by the teachers and other employees included eye strain, eye irritation, nasal/sinus congestion, and excess fatigue. Nearly all symptoms were reported by a higher percentage of workers during the school year than during the summer when school was not in session. Possible building related symptoms included mucous membrane irritation, respiratory symptoms, or nonspecific symptoms. Bacterial and fungal counts in bulk samples collected from water stained ceiling tiles, interior ventilation system lining, and wall paint did not indicate a significant problem with microbiological contamination. The authors conclude that a consistent pattern of bacterial disease that could be related to environmental conditions was not found. Reported symptoms were related to employee perceptions of unpleasant working conditions, particularly insufficient air movement and unclean work areas. The authors recommend that an adequate supply of outside air be provided and that temperature and humidity levels be maintained in accordance with guidelines currently in place.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0126-2358; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Air-quality-monitoring; Indoor-air-pollution; Teaching; Ventilation-systems; Closed-building-syndrome; Microorganisms; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Elementary and secondary schools; indoor environmental quality; IEQ; thermal comfort; carbon dioxide; microbial contamination
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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