New Concerns About NC State University Building Found to Have PCBs

February 20, 2024

Concerns and controversy have continued to mount over the presence of toxic chemicals, including cancer-linked polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, found in a building at North Carolina State University.

The Raleigh News & Observer, Forbes magazine and other news outlets have reported that faculty and staff have raised questions about information provided by the university after Poe Hall was temporarily closed in November. And at least one law firm has said it is investigating the matter ahead of possible lawsuits.

A Raleigh television news station also has reported that dozens of people who had spent time in the 53-year-old Education Department building have been diagnosed with cancers, including breast cancer.

Last week, questions flared again after reports that NC State had asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt a health hazard evaluation for the building. University officials have since said they only asked the CDC to pause the review while the school conducted its own investigations, news outlets noted.

Alarm bells sounded last fall while the building was under renovation. Testing found PCBs, a chemical compound once widely used in transformers but has been linked to cancer and was banned in the 1970s. Other testing continues, but in a recent letter to the community, NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said that one evaluation by a testing firm found levels of toxins to be below federally recommended levels.

University officials have established a website to provide information about the situation.

Topics Education North Carolina Universities

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