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Friday, January 28, 2011
Marta Coursey, WSF Director of Communications, 206-515-3918 (Seattle)
SEATTLE – A toxicology assessment of water dispensers at Washington State Ferries’ headquarters building in Seattle is complete, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said today.
Ferries Division employees were informed this week that while levels of sodium, nitrite, and arsenic were elevated, the arsenic level was below Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and sodium levels were a small increase compared to levels in the typical U.S. diet. Nitrite levels were elevated above EPA standards and may have affected certain sensitive populations if they had consumed approximately two liters per day, five days per week, 250 days per year, for five years. Employees also were informed that nitrite is cleared from the body and does not accumulate.
Maintenance workers for the building property management company discovered last August that nine of 22 water dispenser in the building were incorrectly hooked up to the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. This meant water in those dispensers was “non-potable,” or not suitable for drinking. They were disconnected immediately.
WSDOT is seeking to recover costs of the toxicology assessment from Emerald City Water, the company that hooked up the dispensers to the wrong water source.
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