Kelly N. Weidenbach, Executive Director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, has issued an update on the air quality situation at Midwest School.

The latest tests of air quality are encouraging and if the next couple of rounds are as good, students may be cleared to return for the Fall semester.

The school had to be closed in May of 2016, and the students sent to Casper schools when testing on May 26 revealed very high levels of carbon dioxide, areas of the school that were deficient in oxygen, and one classroom that had a level of benzene 200 times more than government guidelines.

Short-term effects of inhaling benzene include drowsiness, tremors, unconsciousness and death. Long-term exposure can cause anemia, cancer and leukemia, the report said.

But the latest report looks promising. Here is the actual statement from the Health Department...

Midwest, WY May 12, 2017: The Natrona County School District #1 with assistance from FDL Operating, LLC, Geosyntec, and Vapor Mitigation Sciences, LLC have completed installation of a vapor mitigation system in Midwest School. Geosyntec has completed the first air quality tests after installation of the mitigation system. All compounds tested for in the school were below action levels established by The City of Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) in consultation with the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“The results that we received from the air testing were very encouraging.” said Dr. Kelly Weidenbach, Executive Director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department.
The school will undergo three more rounds of air testing before students return to the school for the Fall 2017-2018 school year and will continue quarterly for the first year following the installation of the mitigation system. The next round of testing is scheduled for May 15, 2017.
“We appreciate the patience of the students, families, and staff as we worked through this extremely technical process.” said Dr. Weidenbach.
The Natrona County School District #1 is continuing repair work and cleaning in Midwest School to ensure it is ready for students and staff to return in the Fall of 2017.