- Inewsource reported that San Diego State University mistreated a $ 2 million renovation of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts building that a former OSHA official called the project and called the building about toxins released Air shut down. “A case study of how not to do projects.”
The renovation was scheduled to start last summer, but SDSU was unable to obtain the relevant permits in time. Therefore, the schedule was changed so that work should start in early 2019 when the students were on break. After heavy rainfall, the crews used Tremfix to plug the many roof leaks, but an aging and malfunctioning HVAC system couldn’t clear the build-up of fumes from the chemicals that were seeping in through nearby fresh air ducts on the roof. Tests showed that the volatile content of coal tar pitch was just below the OSHA safety limit and above the limit of the National Institute for Safety and Health at Work, although the crews tried various – sometimes disruptive – methods of removing the vapors.
After many complaints about air quality, the university moved staff and faculty to another building. As it turns out, the financial deadline that drove the SDSU’s decision to move ahead with construction during the occupation is in 2020, not this year as officials believed. .
The Safety Data Sheet for Tremfix, a Tremco US Roofing product, states that certain exposures to the product may cause allergic skin reactions, genetic defects, cancer, and potentially affect the fertility or health of unborn children. As with similar roofing products from other manufacturers, one of the many precautions when using Tremfix recommends that those exposed to dust, fumes, gas, mist, fumes, or sprays wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
Health complaints related to the fumes in the building included vomiting, nosebleeds and migraines. The San Diego County’s Clean Air District cited SDSU; Tremco, who acted as a consultant for the project and recommended the use of Tremfix; and subcontractor Sylvester Roofing of Escondido, Calif., for the volatilization of coal tar pitch into the structure.
The university is planning additional renovations worth $ 12 million, including a new roof worth $ 2.5 million. The building reopened in May but is mostly empty and will likely not be fully occupied until after the next construction work is completed in 2021.
On the positive side, SDSU is making progress on its proposed $ 3 billion mixed-use Mission Valley development, which will include a soccer stadium, residential, retail, office buildings, two hotels, and 90 acres of parks and plazas . This month the university announced that it had completed the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) of the project, which will be open for comment until October 3rd. Relevant comments will be addressed in the final EIR. .