Concern: Ellicott Mills Middle School: February 19th, 2019 (CXEMMS20190000B6)

Rooms 7, 9, and 10
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
An odor described as turpentine was detected in rooms 7, 9, and 10.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment:  February 19, 2019

HCPSS roofers were applying roof cement in several small sections along Dedicated Outdoor Air Unit 2 (DOAU 2), which serves the school's front first and second floors. The DOAU is located on the roof.  The odor was drawn into the DOAU's outdoor air intake.

The product used was Karnak 155-AF and was applied on the flashing at the base of the DOAU in 10 patch locations each approximately 2 square feet or less.

At the time of investigation, exterior windows had already been opened to air out spaces and work had been completed. A faint odor could be detected just under the outdoor air supply vent in Room 7, otherwise the odor was not detected in rooms randomly inspected throughout the school. A photo-ionization detector (PID) able to measure vapors did not detect any measurable amount.

The incident was considered a nuisance (brief, no detectable volatile organic compounds) event since worked was initially performed outdoors, diluting the roofing compound prior to entrainment into the DOAU.

Corrective Actions
February 19th, 2019

Classrooms had been relocated until odor dissipated.

February 19th, 2019

The DOAU 2 was shut down until the roof cement cured.

Building Services personnel were reminded not to perform roof work around air handling units or near their outdoor air intakes while the units are operating.

Tracking Number