Illness again plagues LCC Building 4

Illness again plagues LCC Building 4

EUGENE, Ore. -- On any other day, students would be busy at work in the dental clinic in Building 4 at

Lane Community College

.

But not now: Since last November, more than 50 people who work in labs and offices in the building say they've gotten sick.

"Respiratory distress. Some headaches. Eye irritation and nervousness," said Dennis Carr, chief human resource officer at LCC.   

Carr said they closed down part of the building while they investigate, but he says he thinks he knows the root of the problem.

"We're actively investigating the problem and last week identified possible water intrusion in the HVAC system as one of the possible causes," said Carr.

Carr said they hired an industrial hygienist firm from Portland to take samples from the heating system and test to see what might be blowing through the air system.

This isn't the first time people have gotten sick in Building 4.

In 2011, KVAL News reported on people who complained about respiratiory issues, skin irritation and watery eyes

. At the time, LCC hired a group of independent consultants to investigate.

The investigation found that the hollow columns supporting the building were at the root of the problem. Carr told us in an interview in 2011: "that soil, at the bottom, when it got moist was the source of microbial growth. Fungus and bacteria," he said.

Carr said crews worked to repair the columns.

Carr said they are waiting to get lab tests back to see what is causing the current problems. In the meantime, local private practice dentists and organizations have opened their doors so the dental students can continue their learning.