Pryor-P; Thoburn-TW; Koons-RK
NIOSH 1985 Aug:19 pages
Environmental air samples were analyzed for formaldehyde (50000) at the Municipal Court Office (SIC-9211), Englewood, Colorado in April, July and December, 1983 and March, 1984. The evaluation was requested by the county health department to investigate employee reports of respiratory disorders, eye and skin irritation, and a low platelet count in one employee. Six employees were given questionnaires in April, 1983. Reported symptoms included upper respiratory and eye irritation and dermatitis. A temperature survey was conducted in July, 1983. The pattern of symptoms suggested that the cabinet containing non carbon paper was the source of the problems; the paper forms contained formaldehyde. Airborne formaldehyde concentrations ranged from nondetectable to 0.05 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3). The OSHA standard for formaldehyde is 3.6mg/m3. Temperatures were 77 to 80 degrees-F in the vicinity of the forms cabinet when the outside temperature was 87 degrees. Indoor relative humidity was 29 to 36 percent. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard to the employees exists. Formaldehyde liberated from the carbonless copy paper stored in the cabinets heated by one of the heating systems is the probable cause of the irritative symptoms. Recommendations include moving the copy paper storage area and installing ventilation to reduce heat buildup.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Office-workers; Region-8; Air-monitoring; Analytical-methods; Respiratory-irritants; Eye-irritants; HETA-83-313-1534;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance; Field Studies
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-83-313-1534, 19 pages, 22 references