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Is My Chemistry Building Safe? AIHCE 2000 - Orlando, FL. Michael B. Amster P.E., CIH, CSP, CHMM M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA Michael Sauda CSP University of Maine System, Bangor, ME. Background.

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Is my chemistry building safe aihce 2000 orlando fl

Is My Chemistry Building Safe?AIHCE 2000 - Orlando, FL

Michael B. Amster P.E., CIH, CSP, CHMM

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA

Michael Sauda CSP

University of Maine System, Bangor, ME


Background
Background

  • The Chemistry Department is located in an old academic/research Chemistry Building on a campus in the University of Maine System.

  • Ventilation system sequentially upgraded

    • Generally not consistent with currently accepted design criteria

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Issue of concern
Issue of Concern

  • To address the Faculty, Staff and Student Committee concerns about the death of two long-time members of the Chemistry Department from identical brain cancers within a period of approximately two years.

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Study objective
Study Objective

  • To determine if any chemical(s) are present in the Chemistry Building, previously unnoticed or unidentified, that may be putting the occupants at unnecessary risk.

    • Conduct air and surface sampling

    • Provide comment on observations of building activities

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Chemicals classes of concern
Chemicals/Classes of Concern

Committee research:

  • Volatile Organics, especially chlorinated hydrocarbons: Airborne

  • Semi-Volatile Organics, especially pesticides: Airborne and Surface

  • Metals: Surface

  • Mercury: Airborne

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Sampling locations
Sampling Locations

  • Committee chose sampling locations to include:

    • Teaching/Research/Support/ Preparation/Instrument/Labs

    • Classrooms, Auditorium, Faculty Offices, Stock Room

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Sampling locations1
Sampling Locations

  • $1,200/point (VOC/Semi-VOC/Metal)

  • Screening, w/follow-up as necessary

    Additional Issue:

  • Physical Chemistry labs for metallic mercury

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Sampling methods
Sampling Methods

  • Airborne:

    • Quartz lined canisters: VOCs: EPA T0-14, (GC/MS) (M-39+15TICs)

    • Polyurethane Foam Filter: Semi-VOC: EPA 8270, (GC/MS) (M-98+ 15TICs)

  • Surface: Wipes

    • Semi-VOC: EPA 8270, (GC/MS)

    • Metals: NIOSH 7300, (ICP) (M-20)

  • Direct Reading: Jerome Meter

    • Mercury

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Survey schedule
Survey Schedule

  • January: During Break

    • Building background

    • Airborne and surface

  • February: Mid-Semester

    • Added student/research lab. activity

    • Airborne only

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Applicable standards
Applicable Standards

  • Airborne

    • PELs

    • TLVs

  • Surface/Wipe Samples

    • No compliance standards

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Applicable standards1
ApplicableStandards

  • ASHRAE 62-1989 - Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality

    • 1/10 TLV

    • Guideline for non-industrial exposure

    • Usual level of detection for IH sampling

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Vocs jan

Classroom

Method

1,4 Dichlorobenzene

(2 ppb)

TICs

Butane (1 ppb)

Acetone (3 ppb)

IPA (4 ppb)

Faculty Office

Method

N/D

TICs

2,2,4 Trimethylpentane (1 ppb)

Isobutane (2 ppb)

Butane (2 ppb)

Acetone (2 ppb)

VOCs (Jan.)

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Vocs feb

Support Laboratory

Method

m,p-Xylene (4 ppb)

TICs

Propene (4 ppb)

Faculty Office

Method

1,1,1Trichloroethane (1 ppb)

m,p-Xylene (.5 ppb)

TICs

Propene (10 ppb)

VOCs (Feb.)

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Vocs feb1

Background Office

Method

Freon 11 (.1 ppb)

1,4 Dichlorobenzene (2 ppb)

TICs

Isopropanol (70 ppb)

VOCs (Feb.)

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Semi vocs airborne jan
Semi-VOCsAirborne (Jan.)

  • N/D, Method or TICs, per protocol

  • Detection Limit: Low ppb/High ppt

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Semi vocs airborne feb

Stock Room

Method

2-Ethylhexyl Adipate (3 ppb)

TICs

N/D

Semi-VOCsAirborne (Feb.)

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Semi vocs surface
Semi-VOCsSurface

  • N/D, Method or TICs, per protocol

  • Detection Limit: Low microgram per square foot

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Metal surface
Metal - Surface

Lab, Class Room, and Office Walls

ug/ft2 DL (ug)

Aluminum (4/5) 14-31 <10

Barium (1/5) 3.4 <1.0

Calcium (5/5) 11-140 <.25

Copper (1/5) 3.0 <1.0

Iron (5/5) 9.7-57 <2.0

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Metal surface1
Metal - Surface

Lab, Class Room, and Office Walls

ug/ft2 DL (ug)

Magnesium (5/5) 3.7-17 <2.0

Manganese (1/5) 1.0 <1.0

Sodium (2/5) 11-17 <10

Lead (1/5) 12 <3.0

Zinc (4/5) 1.2-22 <1.0

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Mercury airborne
Mercury - Airborne

  • Various Research/Teaching Labs, Classrooms, Faculty Offices

    • .000-.004ppm

  • Physical Chemistry Lecture Hall

    • Vacuum rack platform: .000-.006ppm

    • Visible mercury present

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Mercury airborne1
Mercury - Airborne

  • Target Faculty Office/Research Lab.

    • After an already major clean-up

    • General: .006-.031ppm

    • Over floor drain: up to .042ppm

    • PEL 0.1ppm(C) and TLV .025ppm

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Additional observations
Additional Observations

  • Working Alone: opaque glass, locked doors, accessible communications, need for graded “work permits”

  • Chemical Movement: dry ice/gas cylinders carried in occupied elevator

  • General Lab Safety: PPE, proper use of available engineering controls

  • Redefined: “Academic Freedom”

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Levels of VOC & Semi-VOC well w/in occupational health limits

    • Nothing insidious, based on analysis

    • Does not preclude the necessity of upgrading the lab facilities, ventilation design and function

  • Metals present on surfaces

    • Housekeeping and personal hygiene

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


Conclusions1
Conclusions

  • Significant levels of mercury remain in the Target Office/Lab.

    • Remediate before return to beneficial occupancy

  • Mercury spill precautions in Physical Chemistry Lecture Hall

    • Spill prevention/control program

    • Mercury containing equipment replacement

M.B. Amster & Associates, Concord, MA


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