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University employees allege building made them sick

November 10, 2009
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COLUMBUS, OH — Two employees from The Ohio State University claim to have contracted the lung disease histoplasmosis from working in Hitchcock Hall, according to WBNS-TV.
According to the story, there was a water spill inside the building back in March and, according to maintenance worker Matt Gillenwater, "there was quite a bit of water on the floor it flooded the whole area," requiring numerous fans to be strategically placed to dry the building''s interior and prevent mold growth.
University officials say they conducted indoor air quality tests for mold that came back negative, a conclusion that led to more questions about the origins of the workers'' lung ailments, the story stated.
David Schroyer, the lawyer representing the workers, believes a previous mice infestation may be to blame for the mysterious illnesses, the story noted.
Schroyer said: "Well it''s not a mystery to us — two women in the same office that have been diagnosed with histoplasmosis within a month of each other. It''s their droppings that contain the spores that eventually, as that deteriorates over time, they then get released into the air."
Officials at the university note that renovations are scheduled for Hitchcock Hall and they will begin as soon as they have a temporary location to house employees, the story added.
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