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Miamitown Grade School, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Published Date:
    May 1982
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF - 372.49 KB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Description:
    The composition of a black, tar like thermal dielectric compound found that the Miamitown Grade School (SIC-8210), Miamitown, Ohio was investigated. The school principal requested the study after expressing concern that the compound, which had leaked from several fluorescent lamp ballast casings, might contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). On December 7, 1981, a wipe sample was collected and analyzed. The surface of a luminaire where the ballast had previously burned out contained 3600 micrograms of PCB which was reported as Aroclor-1242 (53469219). Other samples contained 0.9 and 0.6 micrograms of PCB per 100 square centimeters. The ballasts may have inadequate internal thermal protective mechanisms to prevent overheating and ultimate burnout, both of which are causes of leakage of the thermal dielectric compound. The author concludes that significant quantities of PCBs were released during ballast burnout. The author suggests that thermally unprotected ballasts be replaced with thermally protected units of Class-P classification.

    On December 4, 1981, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was requested to determine if the thermal-dielectric compound that had leaked from several fluorescent lamp ballast casings contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). On December 7, 1~b1. bulk solid and wipe samples were obtained to determine the presence of PCBs. A sample of the thermal-dielectric compound obtained from the surface of a luminaire in the cafeteria (where a ballast had previously burned-out) contained 3600 micrograms of PCB (reported as Aroclor 1~4~). Samples obtained from the top surfaces of ballasts from the Art Room and Principal·s Office contained 0.9 and 0.6 micrograms of PCB per 100 square centimeters (reported as Aroclor 1260), respectively. These results indicate that the ballasts tested may have inadequate internal thermal protective mechanisms to prevent overheating and ultimate burnout, both of which are causes of leakage of the thermal-dielectric compound from the fluorescent lamp ballasts. Based upon the health effects associated with exposure to PCBs and studies demonstrating that significant quantities of PCBs are released during ballast burnout, NIOSH recommends replacement of thermally unprotected ballasts with thermally protected units of Class P classification before burnouts occur. The body of the full report offers guidelines for identifying such unprotected ballasts.

    NIOSHTIC No 00130020

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