Evaluation of indoor environmental quality concerns among hospital employees working in a radiology department
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Evaluation of indoor environmental quality concerns among hospital employees working in a radiology department

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    "The Health Hazard Evaluation Program received a request from a union representative at a hospital. The request concerned indoor environmental quality (IEQ), comfort issues including heat, and foreign particles coming out of the supply air vents in the Radiology Department and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Suites. Employees reported symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation and were concerned that breathing the particles would cause long-term health effects. We interviewed employees about their health concerns; reviewed illness and injury logs, ventilation system diagrams, a consultant's IEQ assessment report, and medical records; took real-time air samples for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, and relative humidity, and bulk samples from different areas of the ventilation systems; and evaluated the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Temperature, carbon dioxide, and relative humidity were within the recommended levels for indoor work environments. Carbon monoxide levels were well below occupational exposure limits. We found that air was bypassing the filtration systems and that the outdoor air intakes were at or below ground level. The black particulates in the workplace contained soot, which indicated that exhaust particles were entering the workspace. Gray material in the ventilation systems was mostly cellulose. Over half of the employees reported being concerned about work exposures. The perception of the lack of management action in addressing these concerns may be linked to why some employees expressed distrust in the employer's willingness to look out for the well-being of employees. We recommended improving preventative maintenance on the ventilation systems and working with a mechanical engineer so that air supplied to the workspace meets current indoor environmental quality guidelines for health care facilities." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20052878

    Recommended citation for this report: NIOSH [2018]. Evaluation of indoor environmental quality concerns among hospital employees working in a radiology department. By Burton NC, Tapp L. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Report 2016-0176-3326, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2016-0176-3326.pdf.

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