FSU Provost responds to reports of radon, black mold and cancer cluster in Sandels building

FSU's Sandels building
FSU's Sandels building(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 5:48 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - An FSU building has been closed while the university investigates claims of high levels of radon and black mold.

Four faculty members raised safety concerns in a 129-page report last week, identifying a so-called “cancer cluster.”

WCTV obtained a copy of that report Friday.

It says at least eight faculty and grad students who worked in the Sandels building have been diagnosed with cancer in the last 10 years.

Three of them have died.

According to the report, faculty conducted radon tests prior to the building’s closure. Those tests showed elevated levels of radon, which is known to increase the risk of lung cancer.

FSU’s provost told WCTV today that the university is now conducting an environmental health and safety assessment of the building, which includes additional radon tests through a third party.

“We wanted a professional group to come in because we had no idea the validity of the data,” Provost Jim Clark said. “And we want to make our decisions based on valid data, and the faculty agreed with that when we met with them.”

Clark said he and President McCullough met with the faculty members who sent the report two days ago and agreed to conducting radon and mold tests. He also said they will continue cleaning and analyzing samples from the building’s HVAC system.

Additionally, Clark said they are planning a walkthrough of the building next week and that if more concerns are raised, the university is committed to pursuing them.

We reached out to the four authors of the report for comment but did not hear back.

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