NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0974-2353, Department of Health Services, Frankfort, Kentucky.

Sim M; Echt A
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 93-0974-2353, 1993 Oct; :1-15
In response to a request from the Health Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, an investigation was begun into an outbreak of skin disorders among laboratory workers at the Health Services Building (SIC-8071), Frankfort, Kentucky. Employees were concerned about their symptoms which they felt resulted from contact with carbonless copy paper forms which accompany the biological specimens analyzed in the laboratories. The laboratory services were located in the basement of the Health Services Building. Itchy skin and rashes on exposed skin and areas where clothes rub were reported in early May of 1993. Fibrous glass insulation had been installed recently in the three mechanical rooms which housed the air handling units for the basement. The nature of the symptoms was consistent with the irritant dermatitis caused by exposure to the insulation, and the onset of symptoms also coordinated well with the timing of this operation. The air handling units had dirty cooling coils and condensate pans, organic matter in the ducts, microbial growth, a blocked air return, and air bypassing a filter. The authors conclude that the most likely cause of the skin symptoms was irritant dermatitis due to contact with glass fibers; poorly maintained air handling units may have contributed to the severity of this outbreak. The authors recommend that the maintenance of the air handling units in the mechanical rooms be improved.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0974-2353; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-4; Air-sampling; Skin-irritants; Skin-exposure; Airborne-fibers; Laboratory-workers; Ventilation-systems; Insulation-materials; Author Keywords: medical laboratories; fibrous glass; contact dermatitis
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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