South Gate inhales, exhales allergies

By Samantha Corona

Faculty, staff and students, are experiencing allergic reactions to the air coming from the ventilation system at East Los Angeles College’s South Gate campus.

About two weeks ago, two professors and some students began to experience a runny nose and some sinus problems. The professors surveyed their students to see if they were experiencing the same symptoms.

Leslie Radford,  communications teacher, was one of the professors that started to experience her sinuses flaring up. Not only was she having a runny nose but also some of her students. Radford says, “the students are usually quiet and you can hear them sneezing.”

Although she did not know what was ventilating through the air system, Radford says, “It was not as intense as it was before.”

Al Rios, the Dean of the ELAC’s South Gate campus, approached Radford about the situation. Rios told Radford that the building and ventilation system were old.

When talking to Rios, he said that Andrea Bronte, an arts professor, was also experiencing allergic reactions including a rash. He said that it is still undetermined if her allergies were from the ventilation system, but Bronte did say that she would get allergic reactions when she was at the South Gate campus.

Rios surveyed the faculty, which are the policy procedures for air quality. The work environment committee is currently in the process of checking the air quality. The filters have been changed in the ventilation system.

Rios is just becoming familiar with the guidelines of the district but there are certain procedures that need to be followed from the “Investigating Indoor Quality Complaints.”

He would like to testhere would it would have to be known what exactly is being tested. “We don’t want to alarm people but we don’t know,” says Rios, “we will continue to keep monitoring.”

The location of the building may be a cause of the allergic reaction Rios mentioned. He thought that because it is a commercial location, a lot of the stuff from passing freight trucks, underground rail system, and old company fumes would pass through the ventilation system.

With the loss of custodians, ELAC’s South Gate campus has not been having receiving the extensive cleaning as before. Custodians from the main campus come every so often to clean the South Gate campus. Dust and other substances can be the cause of the allergies of students and faculty.

Rios reassured that they are “taking matters seriously.” They are looking for a better filtration system for the building that ELAC is moving to soon. The new location of  ELAC will look ahead for any potential hazard.

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