The timeline continues…
A certified consultant for the Health and Safety Occupational Risk Control Company performed testing in January and February of 1998. It was found that "certain areas at the high school contained fungus growth (not airborne) which, if it becomes airborne, might cause problems to persons with respiratory conditions and to infants under one year". (It is important to note that monitoring was performed in December 1997 by Occupational Risk Control Services, Inc., for culturable airborne funghi and bacteria. The toxigenic fungi, Aspergillus versicolor, was found present in the air and possibly growing in the building.)
A visit was made to the school by the staff industrial hygenist for Yale Occupational Medicine Clinic. In a report, there is noted concern about the location of the school in a wetland area. There was "no knowledge to evaluate the possibility of infiltration of moisture from the ground into the walls, but it does seem that this last pathway of moisture infiltration should be evaluated before extensive teardown and replacement of walls". This statement was pertaining to the plans to remove contaminated wallboard. It is also noted that the office area, where an affected employee was working at the time, had been subject to window leakage. "While the leakage had been resolved, samples of the wallboard revealed fungal and bacterial contamination, despite the lack of visible evidence of mold."
In a letter from Dr. Michael Hodgson of the University of Connecticut Health Center to Dr. DiRienzo,. he notes that "asthma related to work is more likely completely reversible (even without administration of inhaled steroids), if the affected individual is removed within six months, in approximately 90 percent of the subjects. After two years, concerns arise because in general, only approximately 50 percent of subjects resolve. Nevertheless, it is generally felt comfortable leaving teachers with school-related asthma in a building for up to six months to a year. If the problem cannot be resolved in that time, it is generally recommended that the teachers be removed."
In a follow up visit to the December 1977 Air Quality Investigation by Occupational Risk Control Services, Inc. Cormier, Principal Consultant, notes in a report, that "corrective measures were implemented prior to the follow-up sampling performed on April 1, 1998. These corrective measures included the decontamination of the insulation inside the air handling units…based upon the follow-up air sample results, the corrective measures have reduced the airborne Aspergillus versicolor levels".
Dr. DiRienzo relayed findings in a verbal report with. Cormier, to members of the faculty and staff. He indicated that Cormier, in April, had a negative finding as to the presence of Aspergillus Versicolor, a fungus found in previous tests in the auditorium, photography room and main office.
Dr. DiRienzo issued a memo, amending his initial statement to the staff and faculty at the request of. Cormier, "for the sake of semantics". Cormier wanted it clarified that "a negative finding does not, however, mean an absence of the fungus. It indicates there was no presence of the fungus in test samples taken on April 1, 1998". Dr. DiRienzo obviously did not make this important point clear in his initial message to staff and faculty.
I have learned that false negatives are not uncommon when testing air quality.
As you can see, 1998 was an event-filled year, and the timeline will have to be continued next week. Please remember all of what I write is from factual, documented information. My researcher, Linda Sanzo, and I are committed to providing only facts to inform the community. Most of the information is publicly available in a book titled Amity Regional School District No. 5 v. The Atlas Construction Company, et al AIR QUALITY REPORTS compiled by Att. Carole Briggs along with Amity Senior High School. Some of the information was not included in the book.