VA Dental Clinic monitoring air quality inside building

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It was a big move to the Veteran’s Hospital when the dental clinic had to change locations temporarily in February 2017. Flooding in an adjacent building at the dental clinic on South Virginia Street meant poor air quality for staff and patients alike.

OSHA was called in, as was third party staff and VA staff, and all looked for ways to remedy problems. Dental clinic staff was also analyzed. The dental clinic went back to its South Virginia location in July 2017.

Then in April of this year, staff noticed bubbling in the flooring in exam room 6.

“Air quality was still good in the rooms and outside. But they sealed the room immediately after they discovered the water and remediated that,” says Glenna Smith, spokesperson for the VA.

Mold was not only discovered in exam room 6 but also room five. Smith says the rooms were sealed off and floors were replaced.

Air monitoring continues once a week, and a humidifier has been installed in the building.

Smith says while no other floors have bubbled or shown to be a problem, they are all being replaced during weekend hours by the landlord.

While none of the air samples has shown elevated levels of contaminates, the VA says, nevertheless employees here have complained of difficulty breathing, light-headedness, and feeling nauseated.

Employees have complained anonymously not only to KOLO 8 News Now, but to the VA Central Office and OSHA. Smith says one employee was re-assigned to another department at his request.

No patients have complained of health problems experienced by staff. The VA hopes its measures will remedy the situation soon.

The landlord is fixing the floors room by room every weekend so as not to interrupt business at the dental clinic. The VA says it hopes to have the all rooms complete in 4 weeks.