bypass navigation
bypass navigationChildren's HealthNational Institute of Occupational Safety and Health - Education and Research CenterEnvironmental HealthOccupational HealthGlobal Health
Contact UsFunding OpportunitiesGive to GLC
UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago; School of Public Health, people serving people

The Occupational Health Service Institute (OHSI)

Selected Health Hazard Evaluations

Illinois Beach State Park:
Determination of Asbestos Contamination in Lake-Bottom Sand Used for Beach Nourishment; Interim Report of Findings

GLCEEH performed a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) as part of its role in the Illinois Attorney General’s (AG) Asbestos Task Force formed to address asbestos contamination at Illinois Beach State Park (IBSP). The objective of the report was to answer the question of whether or not potential sources of nourishment sand, IBSP beaches, and background areas had statistically significant differences in levels of asbestos structures in sand and whether these differences represented human health hazards. GLCEEH designed a study using extremely sensitive sampling methods to answer this question. The report generated from the study is currently under peer review.

Environmental Source of a Fungal Pathogen at an Outpatient Health Care Clinic

GLCEEH was asked by IDPH to provide technical assistance with sampling for a fungal pathogen that infected several patients at an outpatient health care clinic. Some or all of the cases may have been immunocompromised. The investigation was led by IDPH and CDC. Numerous samples from surfaces and fluids were collected, cultured, and analyzed. Two environmental samples that were collected in the ventilation system cultured organisms that matched the organisms found in several of the cases. The route of exposure was probably not via the respiratory system and may have been related to patient treatment practices. GLCEEH and IDPH made recommendations for decontamination and improvement of the ventilation systems.

Environmental Source of a Fungal Pathogen at a State Facility

GLCEEH received a request from IDPH to review and perform data analysis of bioaerosol sampling results reported by two consultants. The reports had been generated before and after remediation of several moisture intrusion sources. GLCEEH review indicated that the sampling and analytical techniques utilized for the two reports were too dissimilar to compare using data analysis. A site visit and a review of ventilation practices and previously collected ventilation information were performed. Previous moisture intrusion was a likely source of bioaerosols, but air sampling results did not indicate elevated interior concentrations of any particular organism or group of organisms after remediation. Several locations within the structure continued to have moisture intrusion. GLCEEH determined that there were deficiencies in the operation of the HVAC system that caused negative air pressurization of the structure, which in turn exacerbated moisture intrusion.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) at a High School

An IAQ investigation of a suburban high school was requested by IDPH because of numerous IAQ complaints during building renovation and construction of an addition to the school. The local school board had hired consultants to investigate the structure. The consultants made a number of recommendations to correct and remediate moisture intrusion. However, IAQ complaints persisted. GLCEEH reviewed environmental consultant reports, occupant questionnaires, and some medical records that were voluntarily supplied by staff, and made several site visits. Specific complaint areas were evaluated for ventilation parameters, and deficiencies were found. The probable sources of complaints in the areas that were evaluated included insufficient ventilation and deficient configuration of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A potential source of bioaerosols was also found. A comprehensive report was provided to the school board and staff labor union.

« Return to Health Hazards Evaluation Program page.