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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0074-2452, Houghtaling Elementary School, Ketchikan, Alaska.
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 92-0074-2452, 1994 Aug; :1-27
In response to a request from the principal, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Houghtaling Elementary School (SIC-8211), Ketchikan, Alaska. The building was occupied by 280 persons, 17% of which were staff. Occupants reported a history of respiratory problems among teachers and students in the 5 year period before the current study. Respiratory problems included severe colds, bronchitis, and bouts of pneumonia. On site sampling revealed a significant disparity between the design of the ventilation system and the measured volumetric air flow values. Carbon-dioxide (124389) levels in most areas of the school increased over the course of the day. No significant levels of fungi, bacteria or thermoactinomycetes were located in the building. However, bulk carpet samples from select classrooms revealed varying concentrations of gram negative bacteria and yeasts characteristic of microbial proliferation due to elevated moisture conditions. The authors conclude that the higher prevalence of lower respiratory tract symptoms reported among workers in carpeted areas may be related to microbial contamination of the carpet. The authors recommend that the ventilation system be properly balanced, and microbially contaminated areas be remediated by removal of carpets.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0074-2452; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-10; Respiratory-system-disorders; Ventilation-systems; Teaching; Indoor-air-pollution; Air-quality; Office-workers; Microorganisms; Indoor-environmental-quality
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division