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An industrial glue remover causes havoc in the Sharp building

The dizzying stench in the Sharp building at 37 South Wabash is still there and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. After exhaustive efforts by the administration over the past several weeks to get rid of the chemicals causing the smell and the migration of whole departments to other floors, the smell and the migration of whole departments to other floors, the smell seems to have set up shop for good.

ATC, a contracting company hired by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, applied a chemical called Attack! 2000 to the floors of the mechanical rooms on the seventh and eighth floors of the Sharp building on the evening of Thursday, March 16. The administration has temporarily relocated every office on both floors and is still trying to rid the Sharp building of the smell.

Students and employees first noticed the chemical odor upon entering the Sharp building Friday, March 17, and were allowed to take the day off. Most staff and faculty notified their immediate supervisors and left. Over the weekend an attempt was made to ventilate the affected floors. The following Monday, when employees and students returned, some staff working on the seventh floor left again due to irritation or discomfort caused by the smell, this time using sick days or paid time off.

“Personally, I experienced some bad headaches, tension, nervousness and irritation in the eyes,” said Ivan Guerrero, a staff member in the Financial Aid Department who worked on the seventh floor until March 23, “but the worst was the throat…it was itchy, and it felt like the airway was blocked at times.”

Attack! 2000 is manufactured by Quest Environmental and Safety Products and—according to their website—is a “no-odor” glue remover designed to liquefy the residual glue after carpet or tile has been removed from a concrete floor.

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