N.H. School Tested For Chemical From Nearby Lab

Apr 1, 2013

A school in Hanover is being tested for the presence of a chemical that was used as a refrigerant at a nearby laboratory.

Richmond Middle School sits across the road from the U-S Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.

The chemical trichloroethylene was used as a refrigerant at the lab from the 1960s until 1987.

Officials say TCE has been found at trace levels on the lab grounds, but recent testing hasn't found any unsafe levels of the vapor at the school.

School superintendent Frank Bass says the lab will hold an open house at the school Tuesday to answer questions about testing.

"And we feel pretty confident that we are on a very aggressive timetable to get the testing done and to get reports out to folks as soon as possible," Bass said.

Bass emphasizes that rigorous testing so far has not turned up any health concerns, but he understands that parents want officials to be cautious.

The lab says it's difficult to determine health risks at the levels that have been measured so far.