November 4, 2009
Employee reports of hazardous work conditions in the basement of one of Texas Tech's buildings has prompted officials there to conduct an investigation of the building's air quality.
Graduate school officials are awaiting a report from Tech's department of environmental health and safety about the possibility of indoor water seepage and - according to employee complaints - "black material" circulating through air vents in the graduate admissions office in Holden Hall.
Fred Hartmeister, dean of Tech's graduate school, said he requested the investigation after receiving an anonymous letter from graduate school employees expressing concern that prolonged exposure to the building's conditions caused eight individuals to suffer respiratory and thyroid-related illnesses.
A preliminary environmental health and safety investigation in September found that the building's ventilation system contained no harmful levels of molds, bacteria or other agents, according to the department's report.