For Immediate Release
August 22, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

>

KDHE Laboratories to Resume Operations on August 25

Having completed several days of assessments, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will resume laboratory operations of the Health and Environment Laboratories at Forbes Field in Topeka on Monday, August 25. Operations at KDHE’s laboratory were suspended for one week to permit a prompt and thorough assessment of the facility after preliminary samples were taken and found to be positive for mold.

“We are pleased to report that operations will resume at the laboratory,” stated Roderick Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “The suspension enabled the performance of much-needed environmental assessments in a short amount of time.”

During the week, multiple assessments were performed to determine the functionality and safety of the facility. Some rooms of the laboratory will require some workers to take precautions, such as wearing protective masks. Based on the initial assessment and the recommendations from the consultants, KDHE is confident that the facility operations can resume.

The assessment of the facility began on Monday, August 18 and continues. The group doing the assessment included a physician with occupational health/environmental health expertise to consult on employee health issues, an independent industrial hygiene specialist from out of state, and a team from the State Department of Labor. Also, the Kansas Department of Administration’s Division of Facilities Management brought in an outside remediation consultant to assess the situation.