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San Francisco EPA Workers Claim Office Is a 'Sick Building' 2/2016 NBC News

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by *GG*, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. *GG*

    *GG*

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    Testing showed elevated levels of two potentially dangerous chemicals, formaldehyde and caprolactam, on several floors of 75 Hawthorne in San Francisco, the headquarters of EPA Region 9.

    The irony is not lost on Taly Jolish, a staff attorney for the EPA and vice president of ASGE Local 1236, one of Region 9's three unions. "It just seems crazy to us that someone would be risking their health by coming into the office to work on cleaning up the environment elsewhere," Jolish said.

    Testing conducted by Berkeley Analytical, an environmental testing lab hired by the EPA, showed elevated levels of two potentially dangerous chemicals, formaldehyde and caprolactam.

    The EPA classifies formaldehyde as a "probable human carcinogen" and some studies found long-term exposure associated with certain types of cancer. Caprolactam's health effects are less known, but the EPA notes long-term exposure increases the potential for adverse health effects. The two chemicals tested above California state standards.

    The EPA does not believe it's out of compliance with the state because the levels were not sustained over eight hours, but the agency never tested over an eight-hour span of time. That's something the EPA unions want. "Our management is on a learning curve. Their initial response was to push back very hard,"Jolish said.

    EPA employees first started complaining of health problems at work in December 2014, when the first phase of the building renovation was completed. Employees say they believe 75 Hawthorne is a "sick building."

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investiga...laim-Office-is-a-Sick-Building-369331961.html
     
  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @ggingues I worked in a sick building (not this one) for over ten years and have no doubt that it is one of the many factors that contributed to the decline of my health. The number of colleagues who died of cancer while I worked in that building was off the charts. People got migraines, nose bleeds, eye infections, allergies, MCS, you name it and toward the end it greatly affected my breathing. Sick building syndrome is very real and I am glad you posted this. Ironically exactly when my office moved out of this bldg, I moved into a rental with toxic mold. I cannot win:bang-head:.
     
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  3. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    Not only is formaldehyde a probable human carcinogen, it is also a neurotoxin. Like @Gingergrrl , I experienced this while working in an office building being extensively renovated with toxic materials. Over time, I made the connection that my most-severe reactions were to formaldehyde. At my worst, exposure to formaldehyde put me into a trance.

    Formaldehyde neurotoxicity in animal experiments http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10729924

    "The aim of this study was to determine whether the inhalation of formaldehyde has a neurotoxicological impact. Forty Wistar rats were trained to find food in a maze within a particular time. When all animals were at an equal level, 13 rats inhaled 2.6 ppm and 13 others inhaled 4.6 ppm formaldehyde 10 min/d, 7 d/week for 90 d. The control group comprised 14 animals inhaling water steam according to the same exposure pattern. During the exposure period and the post-trial observation stage (30 d), the time required to find the food and the number of mistakes made on the way were recorded. Between the animals exposed to formaldehyde and the control group a statistically significant difference for both parameters was observed (p < 0.05). The animals exposed to formaldehyde needed more time and made more mistakes than the animals of the control group while going through the maze. The results underline the necessity for a systematic observance of precautions in case of occupational or dwelling-related formaldehyde exposure, and allow us to classify formaldehyde as "probably neurotoxic".

    Sort of sounds like the experience of living with ME.
     
  4. *GG*

    *GG*

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    Hmm, I wonder if they do studies where they find hotspots in communities for cancer etc..And then find an old dumping site. Do they do that for workplaces? Probably not, sure there a few more variables, then who would get sued in this case? Gov't has immunity from most things!

    GG
     
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    The bldg I worked in had several environmental/health problems but I don't want to say more due to it being my former employer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  6. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I forwarded the article to a friend who worked his entire life for the EPA and is now retired. His reply:
     
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