Printer Friendly

Clearing the air: a model for investigating indoor air quality in Texas Schools.


This pilot project was developed to address indoor air quality (IAQ) at a local high school in Galveston, Texas. The authors sought to establish an indoor air quality program using guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program (U.S. EPA, 1995) and to validate this program through air quality testing with methods similar to those used by a study of a series of California schools (Spielman, 2000). The Tools for Schools program, developed for evaluating schools and ensuring healthy and acceptable air quality for students and staff, takes a low-cost, minimal-involvement approach based primarily on the education of students, staff, and faculty. Little has been done, however, to evaluate the impact of a program based strictly on this approach, in part because of the nature of the Tools for Schools kit, which is largely informational and does not provide mechanisms for the collection of data to assess effects. An important component of the project reported here was a modification of the Tools for Schools kit to include a questionnaire that would allow the authors to identify conditions in the school that had the potential to cause adverse health effects and then to evaluate change in perceived air quality following remediation. Although the immediate goals of the project were to validate Tools for Schools and to identify areas where indoor air quality did not meet standards or recommendations, the long-term goals included establishing an ongoing school environmental assessment program that could serve as a model for other schools in the district and developing methods and instruments for assessing environmental risks associated with daily school attendance.

In accordance with Tools for Schools guidelines, an indoor air quality committee was established to implement Tools for Schools assessments and management strategies. The authors felt that this step was important because any successful program requires behavioral changes, and use of "change agents" is a widely accepted means of influencing change at both individual and community levels (Rogers, 1983). Air quality data were collected in high-risk areas identified within the school by the indoor air quality committee, and outdoor air quality data were collected at or in close proximity to the school for purposes of comparison. Data were gathered for levels of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, particulate matter ([PM.sub.10]), mold, relative humidity, and temperature. Data values for each sampled pollutant were compared with federal standards, recommended values established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for non-industrial populations, and effects screening levels (ESLs) developed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). ESLs are generally those levels below which no adverse health effects are to be expected as a result of exposure (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 2001). All findings were reported to the school administration.


This study involved five components: 1) forming an indoor air quality committee and educating its members about indoor air quality, 2) conducting a survey to identify areas of environmental concern within the school, 3) visually inspecting those sites and recommending either remediation or further study, 4) measuring concentrations of indoor pollutants at sites identified as potentially problematic, and 5) reporting results to the administration. The authors made two basic departures from Tools for Schools guidelines: 1) they developed survey instruments that were distributed with Tools for Schools checklists and 2) they conducted air quality sampling in sites identified by the committee.

Indoor Air Quality Committee

The Indoor Air Quality Committee included administrative staff, teachers, the school health officer, the facility operator responsible for the ventilation system and maintenance, students, an epidemiologist, a physician, and an industrial hygienist. Prior to establishing the committee, the principal investigator, an epidemiologist, arranged a meeting with an administrator of the Independent School District (ISD) to seek input regarding a committee composition that would maximize active participation. The ISD administration appointed key committee members, including the facilities operator, the school health officer, and a member of the school administrative staff; students and teachers self-selected to the committee according to their interest in the proposed project.

Action packets were developed for committee members, comprising sections that specifically addressed indoor air quality issues related to particular job duties (U.S. EPA, 1995). The teacher section, for example, included information on classroom conditions and activities that might be related both to indoor air pollution and to associated adverse health effects. Each section also included a general risk checklist to assist faculty and staff in maintaining safe and healthy work areas. Because the Tools for Schools checklists are lengthy, including both educational information and questions to be answered, the authors developed alternative questionnaires to streamline data collection. Separate instruments were developed for each group of personnel for whom Tools for Schools checklists were provided: teachers, administrative staff, food service personnel, maintenance and waste management employees, the school health officer, and the contractor responsible for maintenance of the school's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC). All instruments developed for this project are available upon request.

Development of Instruments


To increase content validity, survey instruments were devised on the basis of a comprehensive literature review and Tools for Schools checklists. They were then assessed for clarity, word choice, and propriety.

Sampling Methods

HVAC systems serving the rooms were evaluated while set for normal cycles. Sampling was conducted during a normal school day to ensure that HVAC conditions would be representative of ordinary classroom conditions. Windows and doors were closed. The school building consisted of an old and a new section. The older classrooms had individual unit ventilators, and the newer section used central air. Because the authors hypothesized that teachers with classrooms in the older sections of the building would report a greater proportion of IAQ problems than those in the newer section, independent sample t-tests were run to assess if mean scores per subscale were different for the two groups.

VOCs--By Summa Canister. Summa canisters were obtained from and analyzed by A & B Environmental Services, Inc. (Houston, Texas), which used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in accordance with U.S. EPA Method TO-14A (U.S. EPA, 1999). This method allows identification and quantification of hydrocarbons at concentrations below 1 part ppb. The summa canisters capture 36 organic compounds, and up to five additional organic compounds per summa canister were identifiable by comparison with a data library (see sidebar on page 37). Eight-hour samples were taken.

Formaldehyde Sampling. The collection media for formaldehyde were 3M[TM] Model 3721 formaldehyde diffusion monitors (St. Paul, Minnesota), designed to measure the time-weighted average concentration of formaldehyde gas. Collection was conducted in two ways: Area monitoring was carried out in four locations, and four individuals (student members of the Indoor Air Quality Committee) wore passive badge monitors near their breathing zones. All samples were collected over an eight-hour period. Formaldehyde samples were submitted to HIH Laboratory (Houston, Texas) and analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in accordance with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 2016 (NIOSH, 2003).

Ozone Sampling. Two means of ozone sampling were employed. One collection medium was treated glass-fiber filters in 37-mm plastic cassettes, through which a known volume of air was drawn with a portable battery-operated sampling pump. The airflow for each sample was calibrated at the beginning of the sampling period, during the sampling, and at the end with an electronic bubble meter. This meter electronically determines volumes with a pair of infrared optical triggers that measure the time it takes a piston to travel between two set points. Samples were collected over a six-hour period and submitted to HIH Laboratory, where they were analyzed by HPLC in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard ID-214 (OSHA, 1995). Additional samples were collected with a direct-read Ecosensor[R] Model C-30ZX ozone monitor (Santa Fe, New Mexico) equipped with a Stowaway[R] Model DL2 data logger (Onset Computer Corp., Pocasset, Massachusetts).

Mold Spores. Air samples for total spore content were collected in Zefon[R] Air-O-Cell cassettes (St. Petersburg, Florida) with an electrically powered air-sampling pump set, calibrated as previously described. To ensure that supply volumes remained within recommended levels, samples were run for no longer than 10 minutes. One set of Air-O-Cell samples was collected in the morning, and a second set was collected in the afternoon to improve confidence in evaluation of the short-term sampling results. Outdoor samples were taken as well to permit comparison of indoor and outdoor readings and thus to determine if the indoor environment was an amplification site for mold.

Total spore air samples were submitted to MSI Laboratory (Houston, Texas) to be analyzed via polarized light microscopy; the microscope was equipped with a Vernier stage and X-Y coordinate movement. Spores were examined at magnification of 100 to 1,000. Counts were made at 400 magnification according to the protocol published by Zefon[R] Analytical Accessories, Inc. (1998). This method identifies and quantifies spores by genera.

Temperature and Humidity. Temperature and relative humidity were assessed with a Mannix Model SAM990DW Digital Sling Psychrometer/ThermoHygrometer. The hygrometer uses a sulfonated polystyrene strip as a sensing element; conductance varies as water vapor is absorbed. The resistance thermometer measures temperature changes through use of a resistor and a wheatstone bridge that measures the resistance change resulting from a temperature change.

Laboratory Accreditations. HIH Laboratory (Houston, Texas) is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, the Environmental Lead Proficiency Analytical Testing Program, and the Texas Department of Health (TDH). Microbiology Specialists Incorporated (MSI, Houston, Texas) is certified by AIHA for environmental microbiology, including both bacteria and fungi, and is also certified by the College of American Pathologists. A & B Environmental Services, Inc. (Houston, Texas) is a full-service environmental laboratory accredited by AIHA, the National Environmental Lab Accreditation Program, the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, and TDH.

Standards and Guidelines. Standards and guidelines are often used as a reference point for assessing safety. For airborne contaminants, concentrations are compared with federal or state regulatory standards, recommended values for chemical exposures, or both. For occupational exposures, reference values are published by ACGIH, and both federal and state OSHA programs set regulatory standards. The regulatory standards and ACGIH guidelines are designed to protect workers from exposure to unhealthy concentrations of pollutants; however, these established levels may not indicate protection from minor effects (e.g., mild irritations or response to odors). For contaminants for which non-industrial standards or guides have not been established, the industrial-hygiene profession has customarily recommended, as a guideline, airborne concentrations of one-tenth the ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV), suggesting that, at these levels, substances should not produce complaints in non-industrial populations such as those in residences, offices, schools, and similar environments. There are few data to support these limits, however. The authors compared values and ranges for each sampled pollutant with federal standards, ACGIH-recommended values for non-industrial populations, and TCEQ ESLs. All findings were reported to the school administration for follow-up action as indicated.

Outdoor Samples. For purposes of comparison, outdoor samples were collected for the following parameters: formaldehyde and other volatile organic compound concentrations, mold, ozone, temperature, and humidity.


Department chairs distributed surveys during departmental faculty meetings. Of 165 surveys distributed, 116 were completed and returned within two weeks. A second copy was then sent to nonrespondents, yielding an additional 23 responses, for an overall response rate of 84.2 percent (139 of 165). Between its old and new sections, the building contains 235 separate air conditioning systems. The facilities operator randomly selected 40 units for inspection: all 40 HVAC surveys were completed.

Survey responses yielded 156 items for visual inspection by the indoor air quality committee, including 36 rooms with evidence of current or past water leaks, 42 with possible ventilation problems, 39 with cleaning problems, 28 with pest control problems, and 11 with exhaust fan problems.

The committee conducted the walk-through inspection of each site. Active or recurring leaks were identified for 24 of 36 rooms (see Photo 1 on page 38). Apparent mold growth was observed in ceiling tiles (see Photo 2 on page 38), as well as in and adjacent to vents and light fixtures. The ceiling tile depicted in Photo 2 was removed, and samples were taken for assessment by a mycologist, who identified the growth as a pure culture of Stachybotrys spp. (see Photo 3 on page 38). The authors recommended that all leaks be repaired and ceiling tiles replaced to discourage mold growth. The analysis of Zefon[R] Air-O-Cell cassettes revealed Stachybotrys to be limited to the room in which the contaminated ceiling tile was found. Allergenic genera, including Aspergillus and Alternaria, were identified throughout the school. Mold counts are given in Table 1. Mold was also visible in several locations in which moisture and relative humidity were high, including water fountains and locker rooms (see Photo 4 at right). Follow-up inspection was recommended for each site to ensure the efficacy of repairs.

Twenty-seven indoor sites were targeted for quantitative indoor air pollutant measurements; outdoor samples were taken simultaneously. The number of samples taken included eight ozone, 11 [PM.sub.10] (Figure 1), 15 mold (Table 1), and seven VOCs (Table 2). Indoor measures of several species of mold were lower than outdoor measures, indicating normal or background presence of fungi. Among the fungi found indoors were Cladosporium, Curvularia, the Arthrinium/Nigrospora group, the Bipolaris/Drechslera group, and Chaetomium, while Tetraploa and Leptosphaerulina were detected only in outdoor samples. In contrast, levels of Aspergillus, Fusarium, Alternaria, and Stachybotrys were higher indoors than outdoors, suggesting amplification in the indoor environment. Relative humidity and temperature were also recorded for each site. In addition, four students (all members of the Indoor Air Quality Committee) were outfitted with passive formaldehyde dosimeters for the eight-hour school day, and passive monitors were mounted in four rooms of the school (Figure 2).

Ozone was measured with glass-fiber-filter cassettes, which were analyzed by HPLC, and through a direct-read instrument equipped with a data logger. Results were similar for both methods: all < 0.02 ppm, well below the 0.12 ppm National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) standard for ambient air. An independent-samples t-test revealed no statistical differences between ozone samples recorded outdoors and those recorded indoors.

Current American Society of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines recommend 15 cubic feet per minute of fresh air per occupant for a typical classroom. Of 19 rooms for which current minimum ventilation rates were reported by maintenance staff, only three met ASHRAE guidelines.

Results of air quality testing were subsequently shared with the committee, and a summary report, including recommendations for repair/remediation and upgrade priorities, was prepared for the school administration for follow-up. Also, at the conclusion of the study, a presentation summarizing findings was given to an audience of students and faculty to educate the school population about environmental risks to health and safety.




Research regarding the health effects associated with exposure to outdoor air pollution has become increasingly important, particularly in response to the rapid increase in asthma prevalence in the United States and world-wide, an increase that seems to be correlated with industrialization (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 1995). Asthma is now the most frequent cause of child hospitalization and the number-one cause of school absenteeism, and it accounts for 10 million days of missed work annually for parents of children with asthma (Weiss, Sullivan, & Lyttle, 2000). This increase, however, remains largely unexplained, although links are indicated between asthma and both indoor and outdoor pollutants, including smoke, fine particulates, dust mites, molds, pollens, animal dander, and cockroaches (Pew Environmental Health Commission, 2000). Data on criteria pollutants ([SO.sub.x], [NO.sub.x], [O.sub.3], particulates, and other factors such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, and so forth) suggest associations with increased rates of asthma and asthma exacerbations (Eschenbacher, Holian, & Campion, 1995; Hirsch et al., 1999; Leikauf et al., 1995; Schmitzberger, Rhomberg, & Kemmler, 1992). This issue is an important one for Texas since in 1996 40 percent of Texans lived in counties where pollutant levels exceeded levels set by U.S. EPA air quality standards, and the Galveston/Houston region in some years has surpassed Los Angeles in number of days on which ozone levels exceeded levels set by U.S. EPA standards (Bureau of State Health Data and Policy Analysis, 1998).



Concern about the effects of indoor air quality is a more recent development, dating back to the 1970s fuel crisis. At that time, Americans began constructing and insulating buildings and homes much more tightly than before, creating environments in which temperature-controlled air could be contained. This reduction in the quantity of fresh air taken in resulted in retention of less desirable substances, including volatile organic compounds, radon, and formaldehyde, and it facilitated the proliferation of mold indoors. In fact, concentrations of certain pollutants may be significantly higher indoors than outdoors as a result of the many sources of these pollutants indoors. This situation has become increasingly problematic--especially since the majority of Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors (U.S. EPA, 2001).

The IAQ of schools is especially important for the 55 million children currently enrolled in the nation's 115,000 public elementary and secondary schools (U.S. EPA, 2001). Because children have a faster respiratory rate than adults and tend to be more sensitive to irritating air contaminants, they are possibly at increased risk for impairment of lung function resulting from exposure to indoor air pollutants. Children with asthma, for example, are at risk of asthma exacerbations from exposure to indoor air pollutants (e.g., mold). Symptoms of exposure to indoor air pollutants include reduced ability to concentrate, which impairs the overall teaching and learning experience (U.S. EPA, 1995).


Indoor air pollutants in secondary schools arise from routine activities in science laboratories; machine, auto, and woodworking shops; kitchens and home economics rooms; copy and printing shops; and art studios. Poor IAQ can also be the result of poor design; insufficient or inappropriately placed vents; leaking roofs, windows, walls, and floors; or improper moisture control by HVAC equipment. Moisture on indoor surfaces encourages microbiological growth such as mold, which may induce allergic reactions, including asthma attacks.

In the study reported here, the authors examined a single secondary school in some detail. Overall, they found low levels of VOCs in each area sampled, and none exceeded recommended levels or ESLs. It should be noted, however, that permissible exposure limits are typically based on occupational studies, and in many cases, no standards exist for chronic ambient exposures. Values for particulates, ozone, and formaldehyde were well below recommended levels, although formaldehyde was elevated beyond one-tenth of the ACGIH-recommended levels for industry and the NIOSH guideline in virtually every sample. Reported health effects of formaldehyde include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; and allergic reactions, and high concentrations may trigger exacerbations in people with asthma (Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde, 1992).

The health effects of exposure to fungi are not well understood for all species. Most instances in which severe health effects have been reported have been related to heavy exposures sustained in the occupational or agricultural setting. The mere presence of fungi in the environment does not necessarily indicate that people will be exposed or that they will exhibit health effects following exposure. For humans to be exposed, fungal spores, fragments, or metabolites must be released into the air and either be inhaled, physically contacted, or ingested. Potential health effects will largely depend upon the nature of the fungal material, the amount of exposure, and the susceptibility of exposed persons. Potential immunologic reactions include hypersensitivity pneumonitis and allergic rhinitis, although the most common symptoms include runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, exacerbation of asthma, headache, and fatigue (Croft, Jarvis, & Yatawara, 1986; Dales, Zwanenburg, Burnett, & Franklin, 1991; DeKoster & Thorne, 1995; Hodgson et al., 1998; Husman, 1996; Johanning et al., 1996; Levetin, 1995). Contact with fungi may also lead to dermatitis (Savilahti, Uitti, Roto, Laippala, & Husman, 2001).


Some fungi produce mycotoxins (i.e., toxic fungal metabolites). Although Stachybotrys is most often mentioned in the popular press, other species, including Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Trichoderma, and Memnoniella also produce potent mycotoxins, several of which are similar to compounds produced by Stachybotrys (Bata, Harrach, Kalman, Kistamas, & Lasztity, 1985; Jarvis, 1990; Jarvis & Mazzola, 1982; Yang & Johanning, 1996). Toxic effects attributed to exposure to my-cotoxins include fatigue, nausea, headaches, and respiratory and eye irritation (Croft et al., 1986; Dales et al., 1991; DeKoster & Thorne, 1995; Hodgson et al., 1998; Husman, 1996; Johanning et al., 1996; Levetin, 1995). Several reports also suggest that severe illnesses may be attributed to exposures to mycotoxins, including organic dust toxic syndrome and pulmonary hemosiderosis, although causation has not yet been definitively established (CDC, 2000; Etzel et al., 1998; Lecours, Laviolette, & Cormier, 1986; Malmberg, 1990; Malmberg, Rask-Andersen, Lundholm, & Palmgren, 1990; Montana, Etzel, Allan, Horgan, & Dearborn, 1997; Richerson, 1990; Yoshida, Masayuki, & Shukuro, 1989; Von Essen, Robbins, Thompson, & Rennard, 1990).

While trace amounts of fungal spores are generally present in most samples--especially in the warm, humid Gulf Coast environment--a greater amount or the presence of fungal fragments (e.g., hyphae and conidiophores) suggests colonization either at or near the sampled location. Comparison of indoor and outdoor fungal types (e.g., genera and species) and air concentrations should yield similar findings. Differences in either levels or types of fungi may indicate that excess moisture and resultant fungal growth may be problematic. In the study reported here, several fungi were identified that are known or suspected to be allergenic or toxic, including Aspergillus, Alternaria, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, and Fusarium; some of these species have been linked to both allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Although IAQ is becoming an ever more important issue, no legally enforceable standards currently exist for IAQ similar to the NAAQS developed by U.S. EPA for outdoor ambient air. ASHRAE Standard 62-1999, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, has, however, been widely adopted in state and local building codes. The most frequently applied facet of this standard pertains to minimum rates of fresh-outdoor-air flow into buildings with specific occupancy patterns. In Texas, no designated or funded "Indoor Air Quality Program" exists to encourage the use of ASHRAE guidelines or to provide other direct assistance to schools to ensure acceptable indoor air quality for their students. For the school examined, the authors recommend that engineering studies be completed to allow the upgrade or modification of the existing ventilation systems to meet ASHRAE standards.

The lack of IAQ standards and lack of agreement on methods for ensuring a healthy school environment have precluded widespread formal adoption of IAQ programs. To facilitate the adoption of the program, the authors specifically selected a student coordinator on the basis, in part, of her superior performance in academics and previous involvement in leadership roles in student organizations, including one geared toward environmental issues. She was thus in an excellent position to serve as a change agent, able at once to influence both teachers and students in adoption of the program. The authors believe that the community-based nature of the program was largely responsible for its success and will use this model in future studies.

In general, Tools for Schools provides an excellent starting point for any school in addressing indoor air quality. As described, the authors found it necessary to streamline data collection by developing simple, one-page questionnaires, and they attribute the 84.2 percent response rate to both ease of collection and the community-based nature of the program. Air sampling did not reveal any recognizable problems with VOCs or particulates. While this result would seem to indicate that the Tools for Schools guidelines are sufficient for assessing VOCs in the school, it should be noted that organic compounds (e.g., benzene) can be toxic at very low levels that may not readily be detected by odor. In addition, air sampling revealed the presence of molds, including Aspergillus and Alternaria, in areas where mold was not visible. In future studies, the authors would like to include questions in their survey instruments to assess not only the specific environment but also associated health effects (e.g., by querying faculty/students about allergic symptoms associated with the room or area in question). Environmental assessments will be ongoing, and risk assessment will be carried out by the school district on a regular and continuing basis following completion of this pilot project.


An immediate benefit of the project has been the identification of risk areas in the school with the potential for adverse health effects. Continuation of the program as part of the school's environmental sciences curriculum will have a long-term benefit, since the community-based nature of the program led to active participation by teachers and students. An additional long-term benefit is validation of the methodology for use in assessing air quality in all county schools. The authors will eventually use monitoring data in conjunction with asthma surveillance data to determine if asthma prevalence rates in schools differ according to air quality, and ultimately they will use daily monitoring data in conjunction with asthma exacerbation data to more specifically assess the effect of indoor air quality upon children's asthma.
TABLE 1 Mold: Total Spore Air Samples Analyzed via Microscopy

Genus Indoor Samples
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Cladosporium spp. 226 1,263 19 226 452 57 170
Dematiaceous hyphae 57 94 19 113 19 38
Unidentified 57 38
 dematiaceous conidia/
Curvularia spp. 38 19 19
Unidentified hyaline 38 1,527 38 75 75
Aspergillus/ 547 132 57
 Penicillium group
Ascospores 170 19 38
Fusarium/Fusarium- 75
 like group
Alternaria spp. 19 19 19
Leptosphaerulina spp.
Bipolaris/Drechslera 38 19
Cercospora spp. 19
Chaetomium spp.
Tetraploa spp.
Epithelial cells 3,581 3,411 3,166 4,278 5,842 4,014 8,367
Insect parts
Pollen 19 38 38

Genus Indoor Samples Samples
 8 9 10 11 12 1 2

Cladosporium spp. 207 113 302 94 961 1,206 2,393
Dematiaceous hyphae 113 38 57 810 132
Unidentified 19 19
 dematiaceous conidia/
Curvularia spp. 19 19 113 57
Unidentified hyaline 19 38 19 660 754 4,561
Aspergillus/ 38 57 509 57
 Penicillium group
Ascospores 19 38 38 57 302 302
Fusarium/Fusarium- 19 38 38
 like group
Alternaria spp. 75 132 38 57 38
Arthrinium/Nigrospora 19 19
Leptosphaerulina spp. 19
Bipolaris/Drechslera 19 19 170
Cercospora spp.
Chaetomium spp. 19 132
Stachybotrys 57
Tetraploa spp. 19
Epithelial cells 3,882 >9,423 2,808 3,600 5,051 151 339
Insect parts 19
Pollen 19 19 19

TABLE 2 Comparison of VOC Levels with Standards

Chemical Indoor Samples
 1 2 3 4 5 6

Standard Compounds
 Bromochloromethane 0.08 0.08 0.14
 1,4-Difluorobenzene 0.07 0.07 0.13
Identified by Matching
 Acetic acid, butyl ester 0.007
 Acetone 0.006 0.014
 Butane 0.007 0.008 0.016
 Butane, 2-methyl 0.003 0.11
 Cyclohexane, methyl 0.001 0.001
 Dichlorodifluoromethane/ <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
 1,2-Dichloroethane <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
 1,1-Dichloro-1- 0.04 0.003 0.002 0.002
 Ethanol 0.002 0.01
 Ethanol 2,2,2-trifluoro
 Heptane 0.003 0.002
 Hexane, 3-methyl 0.004 0.003
 Hexanol 0.002 0.001 0.001
 Isobutane 0.001 0.01
 Isopropyl alcohol 0.088
 2-methyl pentane 0.03
 Nonane 0.001
 Pentane 0.03
 Undecane 0.025

 Outdoor ESLs (ppb) ACGIH TLV (ppm)
Chemical Sample
 Time- Term
 Short- Long- Weighted Exposure
 Term Term Average Limit

Standard Compounds
 Bromochloromethane 0.1 2,000 200 200
 1,4-Difluorobenzene 0.1 NE NE NE NE
Identified by Matching
 Acetic acid, butyl ester 390 39 150 200
 Acetone 0.056 2,500 250 500 750
 Butane 8,000 800 800
 Butane, 2-methyl 1,200 120
 Cyclohexane, methyl 4,000 400 400
 Dichlorodifluoromethane/ 10,000 1,000 1,000
 1,2-Dichloroethane 40 1 10
 Ethanol 10,000 1,000 1,000
 Ethanol 2,2,2-trifluoro 0.038
 Heptane 850 85
 Hexane, 3-methyl
 Isopropyl alcohol 3,195 320 400 500
 2-methyl pentane
 Nonane 2,000 200 200
 Pentane 1,200 120 600

Chemical I/10th TLV NIOSH

Standard Compounds
 Bromochloromethane 20 200
 1,4-Difluorobenzene NE NE
Identified by Matching
 Acetic acid, butyl ester 15 150
 Acetone 50 250
 Butane 80 800
 Butane, 2-methyl
 Cyclohexane, methyl 40 400
 Dichlorodifluoromethane/ 100 1,000
 1,2-Dichloroethane 1 1
 Ethanol 100 1,000
 Ethanol 2,2,2-trifluoro
 Hexane, 3-methyl
 Isopropyl alcohol 40 400
 2-methyl pentane
 Nonane 20 200
 Pentane 60 120


Bata, A., Harrach, B., Kalman, U., Kis-tamas, A., & Lasztity, R. (1985). Macrocyclic trichothecene toxins produced by Stachybotrys atra strains isolated in middle Europe. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 49, 678-681.

Bureau of State Health Data and Policy Analysis. (1998). Texas healthy people 2000: A report on health status indicators by race and ethnicity. Austin, TX: Texas Department of Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1995). Current trends: Asthma--United States 1982-1992. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 43(51), 952-955.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2000). Update: Pulmonary Hemorrhage/Hemosiderosis among infants--Cleveland, Ohio, 1993-1996. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 49(9), 180-184.

Croft, W., Jarvis, B., & Yatawara, C. (1986). Airborne outbreak of Trichothecene toxicosis. Atmospheric Environment, 20(3), 549-52.

Dales, R., Zwanenburg, H., Burnett, R., & Franklin C. (1991). Respiratory health effects of home dampness and molds among Canadian children. American Journal of Epidemiology 134(2), 196-203.

DeKoster, J., & Thorne, P. (1995). Bioaerosol concentrations in noncomplaint, complaint, and intervention homes in the Midwest. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 56, 573-580.

Eschenbacher, WL., Holian, A., & Campion, RJ. (1995). Air toxics and asthma: Impacts and end points. Environmental Health Perspectives, 103 (Suppl. 6), 209-211.

Etzel, R.A., Montana, E., Sorenson, W.G., Kullman, G.J., Allan, T.M., Dearborn, D.G., Olson, D.R., Jarvis, B.B., & Miller, J.D. (1998). Acute pulmonary hemorrhage in infants associated with exposure to Stachybotrys atra and other fungi. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 152(8), 757-62.

Hirsch, T., Weiland, S.K., von Mutius, E., Safeca, A.F., Grafe, H., Csaplovics, E., Duhme, H., Keil, U., & Leupold W. (1999). Inner city air pollution and respiratory health and atopy in children. European Respiratory Journal, 14(3), 669-677.

Hodgson, M., Morey, P., Leung, W., Morrow, L., Miller, J.D., Jarvis, B., Robbins, H., Halsey, J.F., & Storey E., (1998). Building-associated pulmonary disease from exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum and Aspergillus versicolor. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 40(3), 241-249.

Husman, T. (1996). Health effects of indoor-air microorganisms. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environmental & Health, 22(1), 5-13.

Jarvis, B. (1990). Mycotoxins and indoor air quality. In P. Morey, J. Feely, Sr., & J. Otten (Eds.), Biological contaminants in indoor environments (pp. 201-214). Philadelphia, PA: American Society for Testing and Materials.

Jarvis, B., & Mazzola, E. (1982). Macrocyclic and other novel trichothecenes: Their structure, synthesis, and biological significance. Accounts of Chemical Research, 15(12), 388-395.

Johanning, E., Biagini, R., Hull, D., Morey, P., Jarvis, B., & Landbergis, P. (1996). Health and immunological study following exposure to toxigenic fungi (Stachybotrys chartarum) in a water-damaged office environment. International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health, 68(4), 207-218.

Lecours, R., Laviolette, M., & Cormier, Y. (1986). Bronchoalveolar lavage in pulmonary mycotoxicosis. Thorax, 41, 924-926.

Leikauf, G.D., Kline, S., Albert, R.E., Baxter, C.S., Bernstein, D.I., & Buncher CR. (1995). Evaluation of a possible association of urban air toxics and asthma. Environmental Health Perspectives, 103(Suppl. 6), 253-271.

Levetin, E. (1995). Fungi. In H. Burge (Ed.), Bioaerosols (pp. 87-120). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Malmberg, P. (1990). Health effects of organic dust exposure in dairy farmers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 17(1), 7-15.

Malmberg, P., Rask-Andersen, A., Lundholm, M., & Palmgren, U. (1990). Can spores from molds and actinomycetes cause an organic dust toxic syndrome reaction? American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 17(1), 109-110.

Montana, E., Etzel, R.A., Allan, T., Horgan, T.E., & Dearborn, D.G. (1997). Environmental risk factors associated with pediatric idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage and hemosiderosis in a Cleveland community. Pediatrics, 99(1), E5.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2003). Formaldehyde: Method#2016, (Issue 2). In P.C. Schlecht & P.F. O'Connor (Eds.), NIOSH manual of analytical methods (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Author. (25 Jan. 2005).

Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde, 29 C.F.R. [section]1910 (1992). [Introduction to 29 CFR Part 1910.] (21 Jan. 2005).

Occupational and Safety Health Administration, Branch of Inorganic Methods Development, OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center. (1995). Method ID-214: Ozone in workplace atmospheres. Salt Lake City, UT: Author. (21 Jan. 2005).

Pew Environmental Health Commission. (2000). Attack asthma: Why America needs a public health defense system to battle environmental threats. (21 Jan. 2005).

Richerson, H. (1990). Unifying concepts underlying the effects of organic dust exposures. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 17(1), 139-142.

Rogers, EM. (1983). Diffusion of innovations (3rd ed.). New York: MacMillan.

Savilahti, R., Uitti, J., Roto, P., Laippala, P., & Husman, T. (2001). Increased prevalence of atopy among children exposed to mold in a school building. Allergy. 56(2),175-179.

Schmitzberger, R., Rhomberg, K., & Kemmler, G. (1992). Chronic exposure to ozone and respiratory health of children [Letter]. Lancet, 339(8797), 881-882.

Spielman, H.B. (2000). Follow-up industrial hygiene survey: Indoor air quality (HAS Project No. 00LA331) [Unpublished report]. Santa Clarita, CA: Saugus Union School District.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (June 2001). Effects screening levels list. (23 June 2001).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1995). Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (EPA 402-K-95-001). Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Environmental Research Information, Office of Research and Development. (1999). Compendium Method TO-14A: Determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air using specially prepared canisters with subsequent analysis by gas chromatography. Cincinnati OH: Author. (25 Jan. 2005).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation. (June 2001). IAQ Tools for Schools. (23 June 2001).

Von Essen, S., Robbins, R., Thompson, A., & Rennard, S. (1990). Organic dust toxic syndrome: An acute febrile reaction to organic dust exposure distinct from hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Clinical Toxicology, 28(4), 389-420.

Weiss, K.B., Sullivan, S.D., & Lyttle, C.S. (2000). Trends in the cost of illness for asthma in the United States, 1985-1994. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 106(3), 493-499.

Yang, C., & Johanning, E. (1996). Airborne fungi and mycotoxins. In C. Hurst, G.R. Knudsen, M.J. McInerney, L.D. Stetzenbach, & M.V. Walter (Eds.), Manual of environmental microbiology (pp. 651-660). Washington, DC. ASM Press.

Yoshida, K., Masayuki, A., & Shukuro, A. (1989). Acute pulmonary edema in a storehouse of moldy oranges: A severe case of the organic dust toxic syndrome. Archives of Environmental Health, 44(6), 382-384.

Zefon Analytical Accessories, Inc. (1998). Users manual for the use of the Zefon Air-O-Cell air quality particle sampler. St. Petersburg, FL: Author.

RELATED ARTICLE: Compounds Monitored by Summa Canister

Standard 36 Compounds

* Benzene

* Bromochloromethane

* Bromomethane

* Carbon terrachloride

* Chlorobenzene

* Chloroethane

* Chloroform

* Chloromethane

* 1,2-Dibromoethane

* 1,2-Dichlorobenzene

* 1,3-Dichlorobenzene

* 1,4-Dichlorobenzene

* 1,1-Dichloroethene

* cis-1,2-Dichloroethene

* 1,2-Dichloropropane

* cis-1,2-Dichloropropene

* 1,4-Difluorobenzene

* 1,2-Dichlorotetrafluoroethane

* Hexachlorobutadiene

* Methylene chloride

* Styrene

* 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane

* Tetrachloroethene

* Toluene

* trans-1,3-Dichloropropene

* 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene

* 1,1,1,-Trichloroethane

* 1,1,2-Trichloroethane

* Trichloroethene

* Trichlorofluoromethane

* 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane

* 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene

* 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene

* Vinyl chloride

* o-Xylene

* Xylene

Sharon A. Petronella, M.S., Ph.D.

Rachel Thomas

James A. Stone, M.S.P.H., C.I.H., C.S.P.

Randall M. Goldblum, M.D.

Edward G. Brooks, M.D.

Corresponding Author: Sharon A. Petronella, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-0366. Email:
COPYRIGHT 2005 National Environmental Health Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:FEATURES
Author:Brooks, Edward G.
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Jun 1, 2005
Previous Article:Water safety and disaster management procedures reported by Louisiana health care food service directors.
Next Article:Health professionals hold positive attitudes toward biotechnology and genetically engineered foods.

Related Articles
Bills target sick building cures.
SMACNA marks NYC Indoor Air Quality Day.
School indoor air quality.
Mngrs should monitor indoor air quality. (Technology Update).
NEHA presents a special training opportunity.
NEHA's Radon/Indoor Air Quality program.
Clearing the air: a model for investigating indoor air quality in Texas Schools.
Window film enhances indoor air quality.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters