Evaluation of a narcotic evidence holding room.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2002 May; 17(5):315-321
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request from employees working at a State Police Division of Narcotics Enforcement for a health hazard evaluation (HHE) of the narcotics evidence holding room. The HHE requesters expressed concern over employees' exposure to degrading samples of chemicals, drugs, and plant materials collected from clandestine methamphetamine laboratories and other narcotics cases. They also reported that there were three recently diagnosed cancer cases among narcotics enforcement staff, and several employees had severe headaches while at the workplace. The ventilation for the evidence room is inadequate. There is no provision of outside air to the evidence room or back warehouse area where the employee break area is located, and the smoke tube tests showed no air movement in the back portion of the evidence room. In addition, one of the HVAC units for the front office area was not working at the time of the site visit. Openings near the ceiling of the evidence room resulted in air mixing with the open ceiling plenum, which serves the front office area. Odors from the evidence room were also prevalent in the office areas. No hazardous exposures to chemicals or fungi were found. The reported health symptoms could be related to the odors or the inadequate ventilation. The occurence of three cases of two different types of cancer over aperiod of three years (in two cases withing two years of starting work) is notr suggestive of an occupational origin.
Narcotics; Hazardous-waste-cleanup; Air-samples; Respirators; Fungi; Microorganisms; Aerosols; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Indoor-air-pollution; Organic-compounds; Indoor-environmental-quality
7664-39-3; 10035-10-6; 7697-37-2; 7664-38-2; 7664-93-9; 124-38-9; 71-43-2; 1305-78-8; 110-89-4; 110-82-7; 108-94-1; 143-33-9; 106-40-1; 7647-01-0; 7440-23-5
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene