MAR/WLM Testing

This page contains the test results for recent sampling in Martin and Williamson Halls along with some additional pieces of information. All links are to PDF files.

TO:         Employees in Williamson and Martin Halls
From:    Mary Voves, Vice President for Business and Finance
Re:         Additional Building Assessment
Date:     June 1, 2018

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with additional information regarding the University’s planned response to concerns that have been raised related to the potential for mold in Martin and Williamson Halls.  As I previously indicated when I met with staff on May 23, 2018, the University has taken numerous steps to date.  Those have included:  visual inspections, abatement of first floor men’s bathroom in Martin Hall, abatement of hallway in Martin hall, spore trap sampling, tape lift sampling carbon dioxide sampling, and Volatile Organic Compounds and mold derived Volatile Organic Compounds Sampling.

In addition to these actions, the University is bringing an external environmental consulting firm, Mountain Consulting Services, to conduct an independent evaluation.  Mountain Consulting Services is currently preparing an assessment protocol.  Mountain Consulting Services will be provided a summary of the concerns that were gathered as part of the building tour conducted with staff on May 29, 2018 and asked to evaluate those concerns as part of its work.

The results from testing that has been conducted to date, will be made available next week.  I will be providing additional updates as more information becomes available.

Memo from Mary Voves to Employees in Williamson and Martin Halls.

Letters to Mountain Consulting Services about areas of concern in Martin and Williamson Halls:

Mountain Consulting Services Indoor Air Quality Sampling Plan


Update: MAR/WLM Roofing Work Activities

During  the week of October 1st, EH&S staff members have walked the entirety of MAR/WLM  in the last two days using our volatile organic compound (VOC)  handheld monitor.  The EH&S department is actively sampling for Naphthalene, a binary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) with our handheld detector. Naphthalene is a primary VOC indicator that is evident in oxidized bitumen, or roofing tar.

Naphthalene has a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 15000ppb or 15ppm over a fifteen minute period and a time-weighted average (TWA) of 10000ppb or 10ppm over an eight hour period. Being a primary off-gassing component from oxidized bitumen,  Naphthalene is a best indicator for measuring transient odors and other associated VOC’s chemicals during our measurements. Reading from 10/3-10/4 have ranged from 40ppb to 167ppb during active roofing in various parts of MAR/WLM buildings. Currently, exposures to building occupants are well below acceptable limits during our read times.

As of October 4th, the EWU Facilities staff replaced all air handler filters in both Martin and Williamson Hall with a carbon-activated media filteration to help alleviate odors associated with the bitumous tar smell. End of day (Oct 4th) readings indicated a 50% air scrubbing of the air within the building. This will increase as more air is re-processed over the filter media. Measurements showed concentrations in the air handler mechanical rooms with active readings of 4-7 parts per billion Napthalene present – almost absent. As full roofing activities begin next week, odors and measurements are expected to rise, but not at levels previously experienced.

Concurrently, passive sampling also occurred in the 225 CAPS suite for residual off-gas components from firing of the roofing tar pots. Four gases were monitored for safety of individuals in near proximity to active work and air handling systems-MAR 225 is centralized in that regard.

Four indicating gases in MAR 225 are being monitored: Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), flamamble gases, as Methane (CH4) for interference referencing, Carbon Dioxide (CO), and lower/upper limits for breathable oxygen content.

  • H2S, is a primary odor factor for asphalt and roofing tars. While its presence is known by smell, the amounts present in the MAR 225 suite is below the detection limits of the passive detection meter, less than 0.1 part per million (ppm).
  • Flammable gas detection has been found on 10/10 & 10/11 at peak measurements of < 0.05% of air collectively passing through the MAR 225 reception area. These two peak measurements are barely above threshold detection for the meter @ 0.01% flammable gas.
  • CO was present at a limited but, peak concentration of 7ppm. This number is below STEL and TWA limits and is attributed to the propane firing of the tar pots. CO can be a resultant factor in some reported headaches.
  • Ambient breathable oxygen levels remained a constant, at an atmospheric norm of 20.8-20.9%.

EWU EH&S will continue on-going air quality sampling. As reminder to all building occupants, the roofing contractor has retained an outside environmental consultant for constant monitoring of their employees. To the effect of current work being performed, work activities have been without incident, disregarding the extreme odors present with this type of work.

For reference:

IARC-Bitumen and Bitumen Emissions

10082018_ppbRAE Naphthalene10102018_ppbRAE Naphthalene10112018_ppbRAE Naphthalene, interference spike (326ppm) from D-limonene @ 12pm; 10122018_ppbRAE Naphthalene

We look forward to seeing staff and students throughout the remainder of next week while sampling. Go EAGS!

Williamson Hall Sampling Results