Concern: Forest Ridge Elementary School: October 26th, 2023 (CXFRES20230002D2)

AP's Office
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Per work order #304511 submitted on October 25, 2023: There has been a chemical smell in her office for the past few days.
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: October 26, 27, 31, and November 3, 2023

A Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) odor (similar to spray paint) was identified within the space. The odor is obvious upon entering, however while in the space, it appears desensitization may occur, making the odor source difficult to identify. 

The odor was not identified in any adjoining rooms (to include above the drop ceiling in those locations). Adjoining rooms assessed included the main administration area, a hallway storage closet, a supply storage closet (off work room), and a storage room located off the teacher's lounge. 

A Photoionization Detector (PID) with a 10.6 eV lamp was utilized to attempt to detect the odor. No significant readings above background were identified. 

No odors were identified above the drop ceiling or emanating from the supply diffuser in the room. 

The drawers and cabinets within the space were opened. The source of the odor was not identified. 

No odors were identified outside of the office (particularly near the window), on the roof, or in the mechanical room that houses the air handling unit that serves the office. 

The Office of the Environment contacted Building Maintenance. The did not report any recent painting, heating ventilation and air conditioning projects, roof patching, or graffiti removal. 

A PID with an 11.7 eV lamp (can detect additional VOCs compared to 10.6 eV lamp) was utilized on November 3, 2023. No VOCs were detected in the space or in any of the adjoining spaces. 

While continuing to assess, the smell was briefly noted near a shelf in the office. 

The occupant boxed up items on the shelf and moved them to an alternative space. The odor dissipated and was then noticed in the alternative space. 

Through the process of elimination the odor was tracked to a toy that was wrapped in plastic. 

Corrective Actions
November 6th, 2023

The occupant identified the source and disposed of the item. 

Tracking Number