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CET Update on Air Quality Conditions 11-12-14

November 13, 2014

Dear CET Parents and Staff,

I’m writing today to share some new information and to remind you of our panel discussion on Monday, November 17 from 7-8:30 pm in the CET multipurpose room. On behalf of the Board of Education, we encourage you to attend what we hope will be a highly informative discussion of your questions as posed to five experts in the field.

We continue to be encouraged by the ongoing test results of air quality at CET, as the most recent air quality tests of classrooms 214, 14, 5A, 15 and 13 all resulted in the conclusion of the company that the indoor air quality of CET “is acceptable for building occupancy.”These conclusions are aligned with all previous testing, including that of the first company to perform onsite air quality testing.  Here is the link to the report, which is also posted on the district website:  11-12-14 PCR Report

As you may know, we have conducted a significant amount of air quality testing of CET since the end of the last school year in response to the detection of moisture in one room. We have also replaced the exterior wall panels in the second grade wing of the building and communicated these facts by sending a number of K-12 alerts and held a public meeting about our process.

In sum, the amount of testing and investigation of CET’s air quality and physical condition has been robust:

  • All rooms have been visually inspected and air quality testing has been conducted in several rooms as deemed prudent.
  • Two separate firms have been used as a ‘control.’
  • Thermal imaging of walls, carpets and tiles has been conducted.
  • Faculty members have been surveyed by their union to provide any anecdotal concerns of their classroom spaces.
  • All concerns related to staff have been immediately examined and continue to be followed up on an individual basis.
  • Our architects/engineers have examined the building to determine if any moisture infiltration has gone undetected and to ensure that building systems are in proper working order.
  • Conversations have been conducted between the district and the NYS Department of Labor, Division of Public Employee Safety and Health; the NYS Department of Health; and other related agencies.
  • Experts continue to be available to meet with and answer questions from our staff.

We remain focused on action steps related to the conclusions of the testing data, like the removal of carpets that could have an adverse impact on air quality for some people. For example, one important note about the most recent EMS testing is that certain fungal types were found in rooms 13,14 and 15. In room 14, the specimen was no longer detected upon retest after a carpet had been removed.

In rooms 13 and 15, certain fungal types were concentrated at levels less than the outdoors, and others were at higher levels. As the report noted, these fungal types are moisture indicators and can be found indoors growing on paper and wood products. During the investigation it was noted that 2 aquariums in the room holding a lizard and turtles have wood chip bedding. This environment produces ideal conditions to promote these types of fungal growth. The company cited the two aquariums as a possible source of certain elevated fungal levels in these two rooms, and recommended limiting or eliminating them. There was no adverse finding regarding air quality based on these results.

We continue to treat this matter with the utmost seriousness. Maintaining proper air quality is an ongoing exercise that we are committed to in the interest of all who use CET. At its November 6 meeting, the Board of Education discussed the creation of a Health & Safety Committee in alignment with state regulations. This committee will include district staff, parents, and bargaining unit representatives and will be instituted shortly.

As always, please contact me with your questions, and consider joining us at CET on Mondayevening to learn more about the issue from our expert consultants.


Dr. Edward R. Fuhrman, Jr.


Superintendent of Schools


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