Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2004-0195-2951, Teletech, Morgantown, West Virginia.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request from employees of Teletech in Morgantown, West Virginia in which employees expressed concerns about the air quality in the building and the possibility that contaminants might be causing health effects experienced by some of the employees. Primary health concerns were: frequent sinus infections, respiratory infections, indoor allergies of unknown origin, hives, and skin rashes. Listed exposures included air fresheners, dirty air ducts and vents, inadequate fresh air, water leaks in restrooms that appeared to be from plumbing inside walls, and other airborne irritants. The NIOSH response consisted of two site visits. The first site visit on April 8th, 2004 allowed the industrial hygienists to visually inspect the premises and interview the building management. Water incursion in a bathroom was observed during the site visit with the water appearing to be clean water from an unknown source. The second site visit was conducted on May 13th, 2004 and included a similar visual inspection of the interior spaces along with the heating and ventilation (HVAC) system and the roof. The water incursion in the bathroom was known to be sporadic and management believed that the water originated from a natural spring located beneath the building. The second visit also included real-time monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, and concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and airborne particles in several areas of the building and outdoors. Visual inspection found the building be generally clean and well maintained. The source of water incursion was in the process of being identified and corrected. Real-time measurements were within the currently established values for appropriate building air quality. The exception was carbon dioxide concentrations in an area of the building where one HVAC unit was not operating during the visit. Carbon dioxide concentrations in that area were somewhat elevated and might indicate that the HVAC system is not be entirely adequate for diluting and mixing the air in the building. However, the overall appearance of the building and the results of the real-time monitoring did not identify any items that required immediate correction. NIOSH conducted two site visits to the Teletech call center in Morgantown, West Virginia to address employee concerns about contamination of the indoor air and health effects they were experiencing. An area of water incursion was found but no signs of mold or excessive dampness were observed. Some measurements indicated that fresh air supply and overall air mixing might not be adequate but not to the extent that employee health effects could be attributed to these findings.
Region-3; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Indoor-air-pollution; Microorganisms; Air-quality-measurement; Ventilation-systems; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Skin-irritants; Skin-disorders; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Airborne-particles; Airborne-dusts; Indoor-environmental-quality