Results of Vapor Barrier Testing Reveals Toxins and Unknown Results

Wildwood Elementary in ISD 832 sits on a Brownfield Contaminated Land Site, approximately 230 feet away from a large, covered and buried mixed municipal waste dump. The 2012 construction of Wildwood Elementary included the installation of a vapor barrier where underneath the school are six separate venting systems consisting of horizontal, perforated pipe that collects vapors which build up beneath the vapor barrier. Soil vapor which collects beneath the vapor barrier is collected in the perforated venting system piping and rises upward through solid riser pipes and is vented through a stack on the roof with a rotary turbine ventilator. Vapor Barrier Testing is performed twice per year by the school district's private environmental consultant(s). This past October 2018, a Vapor Barrier and Passive Venting System Monitoring Report on Wildwood Elementary School was prepared by ISD 832's private environmental consultant firm, Landmark Environmental. The report revealed toxins leaking into the school, unknowns or no testing for some chemicals at all.

Testing Results May Be Inaccurate

Page 2 of the Results Report Revealed "Locations V-1 through V-6 are the most accurate indicators of venting system operational effectiveness because these locations are located in the riser pipe one foot above the slab. Readings at the stack locations on the roof are not as accurate due to interferences from the wind and swirling of the air flow at the top of the stack from the rotary turbine ventilator. During every monitoring event and at every venting location V-1 through V-6, a negative pressure has been observed, verifying that soil vapor is flowing from beneath the slab and vapor barrier, up through the riser pipe, and out the stacks on the roof as designed. The positive pressure readings at the stack locations may be the result of turbulent air flow at the sample ports being located too close to the rotary turbine ventilators." Also on Page 2 of the report it is revealed "There are no existing screening criteria for chemicals detected in the soil vapor stream in venting system piping." This would mean that toxic chemicals that have been found in the soil near the school, such as TCE (Trichloroethylene), would not show up in the testing these results.

Test Results Reveal Toxin Hydrogen Sulfide Seeping Into Wildwood Elementary

The results report sites "Hydrogen sulfide has been detected during nine of 120 monitoring events at 1 or 2 ppm." The report then claims "For comparison purposes, the NIOSH REL for hydrogen sulfide is 10 ppm." Upon further research and reference to the United States Department of Labor OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), "Hydrogen sulfide gas causes a wide range of health effects. Workers are primarily exposed to hydrogen sulfide by breathing it. The effects depend on how much hydrogen sulfide you breathe and for how long. Exposure to very high concentrations can quickly lead to death. Relevant to Wildwood Elementary "concentrations of Hydrogen Sulfide at ppm levels of 2-5 can cause: "Prolonged exposure may cause nausea, tearing of the eyes, headaches or loss of sleep. Airway problems (bronchial constriction) in some asthma patients."  OSHA is reporting on the potential health risks for adult workers and not for young children. OSHA has no information on their website on what the health risk or limits are of exposure of Hydrogen Sulfide for young children.

Relevant Links

https://www.mahtomedi.k12.mn.us/sites/mahtomedi.k12.mn.us/files/files/Private_User/pcrother/20181018%20VB%20PV%20Systems%20Monitoring%20Report.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hydrogensulfide/hazards.html

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/landfill_gas.htm