Statement to News Media from Mt. Hood Community College: Air Quality during HVAC Construction Project

Posted: October 4, 2013

Employees at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) have reported odors related to a construction project in which the HVAC fan system is being replaced. The reports have included complaints of physical discomfort such as headaches and nausea. The health and safety of students and employees is always our utmost priority. We are sorry that this has occurred and want students, employees and the community to be aware of the actions the college has taken to make sure this does not happen again.

The odor was caused by a sealant that Johnson Controls, the general contractor on the HVAC project, has since replaced with an odorless material. The odorless sealant will be used on the remainder of the fan replacement project, which is expected to be completed by the end of November. In addition, our Facilities department anticipates that the odors will dissipate as crews continue to flush additional fresh air through the ventilation system this weekend. Oregon OSHA has been on site conducting air quality analysis.

Employees affected by the odor were given the option to temporarily relocate to other areas on campus, work from home or use vacation/sick days. Impacted areas were ventilated and a few classes were dismissed early.

MHCC is committed to making sure that all students and employees have safe, healthy and comfortable areas where they can teach, learn and conduct college business. We take this issue very seriously and are committed to addressing the concerns of each student and employee. We have advised those who may continue to experience symptoms such as headache, nausea or dizziness to contact the college’s Environmental Health & Safety department.

Our aim is to be transparent and forthcoming in all our communications. Again, everyone’s health and safety is always our utmost priority.

Click here for background on the HVAC project 

For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of College Advancement at 503-491-7204 or 

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 10/9/2013 09:53:06 AM