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BCSD response to air quality claims

| September 9, 2022 1:40 PM

The HVAC system at Bonners Ferry High School did use propylene glycol, as is standard in these heating units, up until June 2020, Boundary County School District Superintendent Jan Bayer wrote in a press release. When leaks in the system occurred, repairs were made.

Repairs are documented and follow industrial standards. The air quality was tested in 2015, 2017, 2020 (three times), and 2021 in response to complaints. The following are statements from the assessments:

2015

In June 2015 an investigation occurred by the Division of Building Safety in regard to health concerns and air quality related to a glycol leak at Bonners Ferry High School. The investigator states, "My conclusion is that it is very unlikely that the glycol leak could have caused the health issues mentioned …"

2017

"Indoor Air Quality (IAC) is acceptable for most individuals; chemically sensitive persons may require lower levels."

"Actively growing molds may be present, but are at or below levels found in most homes and working environments."

2020

"Indoor Air Quality (IAC) is acceptable for most individuals; chemically sensitive persons may require lower levels."

"Actively growing molds may be present, but are at or below levels found in most homes and working environments."

In one room it stated, "IAQ is borderline acceptable; some effect on occupant is possible, reduce potential sources and consider increasing ventilation." Newly stained shelving was present in the room.

“Although detected, the levels of glycols, volatile organic compounds, and aldehydes in the high school were all parts-per-billion (ppb) range. At low levels, these results would not be expected to cause adverse health effects in the normal population.”

“The results are relatively consistent with the IHR air sampling results in March 2020.”

2021 — After draining of the propylene glycol from the main system

"Total volatile organic compounds … are well within normal limits for indoor spaces and are well below the 500ng/L value required for new building/construction for LEED [green standard] certification."

“As a district, we continue to strive to have safe and healthy buildings for our students and staff members. The district responded to matters of air quality based on the testing and recommendations provided by outside entities,” Bayer said.

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