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Archive for Friday, July 20, 2007

No link found between Wescoe, tumors

Doctor to report results today from air quality test measuring 100 chemicals

July 20, 2007

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A yearlong investigation has found no increased incidence of brain tumors among occupants of Kansas University's Wescoe Hall.

An epidemiologist will present his final report to KU staff at 3 p.m. today in Wescoe Room 3139, according to a KU news release. The study was requested after KU officials heard concerns about brain tumors being diagnosed among the building's occupants.

The study was conducted by a team led by Dr. John S. Neuberger, epidemiologist at the KU School of Medicine.

The building's air quality was tested for 100 different chemicals. In spring 2006, a few offices showed formaldehyde levels above the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health guidelines, but none exceeded standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to the report.

The testing also showed that airflow in many offices was below standards by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.

KU is now working on a $3 million project to replace the air-handling systems on the first three floors in Wescoe, Don Steeples, vice provost for scholarly support, wrote in an e-mail to building staff. The replacement began this month and will continue into 2009, he said. The work requires office occupants to move to other space for several months, staff was told.

In August 2006, Neuberger said a preliminary study had found no significant problems that were hazardous to people's health. Additional air-quality tests were conducted over the next several months. The formaldehyde could come from carpet or particle board, Neuberger said last year.

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