On November 5th BOCES began to receive reports from students and staff concerning the air quality in and near the CTE Cosmetology program rooms at the Chenango campus. Smells or vapors were reported, and on two days, November 7 and 12, they became particularly intense. On the 12th several staff members and students became ill and sought medical attention.
BOCES is always concerned about any situation that may affect the health, safety and welfare of our students and staff. Upon receipt of the reports an investigation was immediately commenced, and will continue until the matter is resolved. Steps have been taken to ensure the safety of staff and students. Since November 12th BOCES has:
= Temporarily relocated the cosmetology students and staff;
= Mobilized Health & Safety to test for CO (carbon monoxide) at many locations in and near the Cosmetology and other CTE classrooms at various and numerous intervals;
= Engaged the services of an engineering firm and industrial hygienist to: conduct air quality testing and a site inspection; review mechanical systems; review plans and system drawings; provide a report of test results and findings; provide guidance for action based upon those findings; recommend any additional testing, professional services, or actions to further investigate; and generally consult on the matter; and
= Engaged counsel experienced in air quality and environmental issues to conduct the investigation and collect other relevant information.
Keep in mind that the CTE programs at BOCES mirror industry standards in creating learning experiences, each of which carries certain inherent risks which are aggressively managed for the safety of our students and staff. At this time, no issues with the indoor air quality in the CTE program areas have been identified which create a risk to the health of students or staff. Testing completed to date has shown the air quality in the rooms to be fully within normal parameters. The investigation is continuing, and further decisions will be made once all the information, reports and recommendations have been received. BOCES will actively monitor the situation until the matter is successfully resolved.
In the meantime, the Cosmetology students will return to the classrooms on Monday and resume normal activities. All exits to the exterior marked “Emergency Exit Only” must remain closed, and opened only for egress in the case of an emergency. Any further reports of problems should be directed to Health & Safety.