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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 29, 2011

Epoxy fumes contained

BERNE — Three students were sent home from school with headaches on Dec. 22 after fumes from epoxy wafted into classrooms.

As part of the building project at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, the cafeteria is being improved and epoxy was used on the floor there, causing strong odors.

Superintendent Paul Dorward sent a letter home with students that day, stating there had been no reports of symptoms due to exposure to the epoxy.

“The symptoms of exposure are irritation and redness of the skin and eyes, and breathing difficulty,” he wrote. The smell was first noticed at about 9:45 a.m. last Thursday, Dorward said.

“Principal Tom McGurl took measures to ventilate the building immediately, and at around 10 a.m. fans had been started and air ducts secured,” said Dorward.  The principal and superintendent patrolled the building throughout the day, Dorward said, to be sure the smell had dissipated.

“The new addition is sealed off from the rest of the building and the ventilation of the buildings will continue to be monitored as the construction continues,” said Dorward. “Extra fans have been placed to keep the fumes from being directed toward the secondary school building.”

Melissa Hale-Spencer

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