By Michelle Roberts
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Fumes from a cleaning solvent forced approximately 400 dance and exercise sport sciences students from their classes in the Ina E. Gittings Building yesterday.
Melissa Lowe, associate professor of dance, said she began to smell very strong and potent fumes around 11 a.m.
As a result of the fumes, all dance classes were cancelled. Exercise sport sciences classes were cancelled as well, unless teachers were able to move classes outside.
Frank Demer, an industrial hygienist in the Risk Management office, said the custodial staff was cleaning the gym floor on the new wing of the building. Because the floor is wood, he said, it could not be cleaned with water. Instead, the floor was cleaned with a petroleum-based cleanser.
The fumes from the cleaning material spread to the other wings of the building through the ventilation system, Demer said.
Lowe said she experienced a headache, dizziness and burning eyes as a result of the fumes.
"This is a physical complex. They don't realize that everything is connected by ductwork," Lowe said.
Demer said the dizziness and eye and throat irritation were only temporary and that the fumes would not cause long-term health effects.
Demer said the building should be aired
out by tomorrow morning. Cleaning will not resume until after business hours on Friday.
Acting Chairman of the Committee on Dance Jory Hancock said that it was unfortunate that class had to be cancelled, but he believed that the construction and cleaning crews involved were doing the best they could.
"We're really thankful for our new wing," Lowe said. "We've been waiting a long time for it. We'd just like a little consideration for the air we breathe."
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