‘Traces of fiberglass’ detected in air
hen it comes to solving an air quality situation that is believed by some to be causing health problems among employees on the third floor of the Platte County Courthouse, “we think we are on the right path,” says Daniel Erickson, director of facilities management for Platte County.
The third floor houses the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office, and employees of that office have reported health problems that they attributed to the office space.
Recently the prosecutor’s office was moved to the former county commission space in the Platte County Administration Building, and commission meetings were as a result moved to the Platte County Resource Center.
Erickson said during a meeting of the county commission on Monday that as part of the study done by an air quality expert “we are seeing small traces of fiberglass in the air.”
The “right path” referred to by Erickson will consist of the county seeking bids for the removal and disposal of existing insulation within the attic space of the courthouse, and installing new spray foam insulation in that space.
The existing insulation is a combination of blown-in insulation and fiberglass batt insulation, Erickson said.
In addition, the duct work in the prosecutor’s office will be removed and replaced. Removal and replacement of all internally lined insulated duct with new duct that is externally insulated, Erickson said.
“We think this is the solution,” Erickson remarked on Monday.
In a later email exchange with The Landmark, Erickson said: “Surface tape samples taken by our air quality consultant have been tested and revealed trace amounts of fiberglass particles present in the air. There are two sources of fiberglass that could be impacting that space. The first is the courthouse attic, which is located directly above the third floor office space. The second is some of the duct work that services the third floor office. This duct work is internally lined with insulation. Some of the seams and junctions of the liner have degraded and exposed fiberglass insulation to the air flow within the duct work.”
Sealed bids on both the projects will be accepted until Dec. 16.
The attic air space size is approximately 11,000 square feet. The selected contractor will have the opportunity to perform measurements and adjust price accordingly.
According to the call for bids, prior to installation the contractor shall provide all chemical data sheets associated with the products to be used on both projects.
In October when it was announced the prosecutor’s office would be vacating the space, Erickson told The Landmark: “Per the advice of our insurance provider, we have hired an air quality expert to study the issue. The air quality expert has been studying the issue since January. To date we have not definitively identified an air quality issue source but the study continues.”
Erickson said in October that having the prosecutor’s office vacate the space would allow the air quality expert and facility staff better access to the mechanical equipment, which would be difficult to access while the space is occupied.
Erickson said there is no odor or clear sign of moisture/mold present.
The first two levels of the courthouse, which apparently are not dealing with the issue, are home to judicial clerk offices and circuit courtrooms.