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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0104-2458, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Lushniak BD; Decker JA
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 94-0104-2458, 1994 Sep; :1-20
In response to a request, an investigation was begun into symptoms reported by workers at the University of Iowa library (SIC-8231). Workers had complained of skin itching, tingling, skin blotching, sinusitis, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain on handling books which had been imported from India. Air samples were collected along with wipe samples for organophosphorus pesticides, organochlorine pesticides and metals. Cellophane tape stripping of glitter like particles was carried out on the skin of an employee and from a book. Polarized light microscopy of the glitter like particles were consistent with glue particles. Air sampling did not reveal any contaminants nor did the wipe samples. While no definitive source of the complaints could be found, the employees who reported frequent contact with the Indian books were more likely to express complaints than were others. The authors conclude that a source for the reported symptoms was not found, but the symptoms were consistent with irritative symptoms of the skin, and irritative or allergic symptoms of the eyes and upper airway. The authors recommend that the areas be kept clean and free of dusts. A mild soap should be used to wash the hands after handing these particular books. Gloves and other protective clothing should be worn at the option of the workers to help avoid skin contact.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0104-2458; Region-7; Hazard-Confirmed; Skin-exposure; Skin-irritants; Hypersensitivity; Dust-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-irritants; Author Keywords: Libraries; pesticides; volatile organic compounds; metals; irritant dermatitis; mucosal irritation; jute; bookbinding glue
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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