Development of evaluation procedures for local exhaust ventilation for United States postal service mail-processing equipment.

Research paper by Bryan R BR Beamer, Jennifer L JL Topmiller, Keith G KG Crouch

Indexed on: 09 Jul '04Published on: 09 Jul '04Published in: Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene


Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have conducted several evaluations of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems for the United States Postal Service (USPS) since autumn 2001 when (a) terrorist(s) employed the mail system for acts of bioterrorism. As a part of the USPS 2002 Emergency Preparedness Plan, the development and installation of LEV onto USPS mail-processing equipment can reduce future exposures to operators from potentially hazardous contaminants, such as anthrax, which might be emitted during the processing of mail. This article describes how NIOSH field testing led to the development of recommended testing procedures for evaluations of LEV capture efficiency for mail-processing equipment, including tracer gas measurements, smoke release observations, air velocity measurements, and decay-rate testing under access hoods.