Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0319-2459, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Almaguer-D; Moss-CE; Hurrell-JJ Jr.
NIOSH 1994 Sep; :1-26
In response to a confidential request, an investigation was conducted of a reported cluster of thyroid disorders in at Howard University (SIC-8221), Washington, DC. School of Engineering (SOE) workers in L. K. Downing Hall became aware of what appeared to be an unusually high incidence of health problems among 43 full time support staff workers in April of 1992. The problems included one nonmalignant thyroid tumor, four cases of thyroid enlargement, one lymphoma, one case of sarcoidosis, one case of an enlarged lymph node, and various other complaints. Measurements were taken of ionizing radiation at various locations in the SOE that contained radiation sources. Results indicated that radiation levels were below the Nuclear Regulatory Commission occupational exposure limits. Airborne asbestos (1332214) was not detected in any of the sampled areas. Analysis did confirm the presence of amosite (12172735) asbestos in bulk material samples collected from steam pipe lagging and debris found on the carpet in two offices where the workers work within 5 feet of badly damaged lagging. Carbon-dioxide (124389) measurements in some areas were at the recommended limits. Some temperature readings exceeded the recommended levels. All relative humidity readings were in the comfort zone. The authors conclude that no evidence was found to suggest that the reported health problems were a result of the work environment. The authors recommend that employee exposure to asbestos and other potential safety and health hazards be reduced.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0319-2459; Region-3; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Insulation-materials; Occupational-exposure; Radiation-exposure; Asbestos-fibers; Thyroid-gland-disorders;
1332-21-4; 12172-73-5; 124-38-9;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance;
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-92-0319-2459, 26 pages, 22 references