Indoor Environmental Quality
Health Hazard Evaluations
NIOSH conducts investigations of possible health hazards in the workplace. These investigations, called Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs), are conducted under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the authority of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, following a written request from employees, authorized representative of employees, or employers, to determine whether any substance normally found in the place of employment has potentially toxic effects in such concentrations as used or found.
NIOSH researchers have conducted many HHEs related indoor environmental quality issues. To learn about our evaluations and findings, go to the HHE database and search on a related term. To learn more about the HHE program, go to https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/about.html.
- (2019) Indoor environmental quality with limited surface sampling for metals at an office building.In December 2017, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from the union representing employees working in an office building. Employees were concerned about air quality throughout the building. Employee health concerns included breathing issues; eye irritation; skin lesions, and allergy attacks that they attributed to dampness and mold in the building, and particulates from the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system.
- (2019) Exposures and respiratory health concerns in a paper converting equipment manufacturing facility. In January 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health received a confidential employee request for a health hazard evaluation at a paper tissue converting equipment manufacturing facility regarding concerns about lung disease and air quality, with exposures to coolants, oils, solvents, paper dust, exhaust fumes, welding and plasma cutting fumes, and lacquer thinner encountered during production activities.
- (2019) Lead and copper exposure at an indoor shooting range.The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program received a management request from a government indoor shooting range because of concerns about employee exposure to lead and copper during cleaning activities. The facility contained three ranges. Two ranges used lead-based ammunition and one used frangible copper-based ammunition only. Employees were responsible for range cleaning in addition to maintenance activities, such as replacing exhaust fan filters and emptying buckets that collect bullets behind the bullet traps
- (2019) Exposures and respiratory health at a coffee roasting and packaging facility and two off-site retail cafés.In March 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from the owner of a coffee roasting and packaging facility and off-site retail cafés with 15 employees regarding concerns about exposures to and health effects from diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione during coffee roasting, coffee grinding, and café tasks.
- (2018) Characterizing exposures during laser tattoo removal in a hospital dermatology center.The Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from the manager of a dermatology center at a hospital who was concerned about dermatologist's exposures to the plume created during laser tattoo removal.