Health and safety officials are trying to determine if health problems among a few teachers and students at Panguitch High School are related to the building itself.
The two-year-old school is undergoing testing to see if building materials or the air exchange system could be contributing to symptoms of dizziness, headaches and flushed appearance, said Garfield District Superintendent Jerold Judd.Thursday, the building architect and representatives of the contractors who built the school will be at Panguitch to try to "balance" the building's air flow, Judd said.
He said two teachers have experienced frequent illness and some students have also had incidences of the same symptoms.
Judd said representatives of the State Health Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency are running tests to see if they can pinpoint a problem.
"There has been no talk of closing the school. They are just running tests," he said. The University of Utah's Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health may be asked to enter the investigation if nothing is found during the current testing.
Judd said OSHA officials have said they don't believe there is a serious hazard to students or school personnel, Judd said.
Tests have been run to see if chemicals used to treat carpets or in the manufacture of adhesives, including formaldehydes, could be factors in the illnesses. These chemicals, present during construction, usually dissipate quickly.
The two teachers who have had the most frequent illnesses were tested and found to be allergic to molds, but none have been found in the building, Judd said.
Safety officials said illnesses related to an indoor environment are more common today as buildings are made more "tight" to conserve energy.
If continued testing doesn't disclose an obvious problem, the district will just keep monitoring to see if the condition worsens, Judd said.