Potentially Toxic Chemicals Found In St. Johnsbury State Offices

Mar 31, 2017

Nearly 80 state employees have moved out of their St. Johnsbury offices after potentially toxic chemicals were discovered in the building.

Some routine testing showed that three chemicals – typically associated with dry cleaners – were found in the foundation on Thursday night.

Those chemicals are suspected to be toxic for people to breathe.

The building housed staff from the Vermont Agency of Human Services, including 15 "mission critical" employees of the Department for Children and Families and the Department of Corrections who have direct engagement with the community.

Julie Moore, the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, says samples have been collected and sent for analysis.

“If indoor air quality at the facility ends up being a concern as a result of the levels of any of these particular chemicals that are measured, a treatment and mitigation strategy would be designed," Moore said.

The results of those tests are expected to be completed by Monday.

"We have a lot of experience as an agency in dealing with indoor air quality issues that result from prior life as dry cleaners," Moore told VPR.

The state has advised employees to be in touch with their health practitioners.

On Tuesday, the state will hold a town hall meeting for employees to learn more about the test results.