Report: Hampden County Courthouse workers likely exposed to toxins that may cause health issues

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Representative Angelo Puppolo held a meeting on Wednesday to address a recent environmental report that exposed health issues at the Roderick J. Ireland Courthouse.

Rep. Puppolo wanted to have this meeting to talk about the report’s findings and the possibility of building an entirely new courthouse. Puppolo and State Rep. Brian Ashe held the closed meeting inside the courthouse on Wednesday afternoon where they discussed a report conducted by Environmental Health & Engineering between November 2019 and January 2020.

The report studied several health concerns, including toxic fumes and mold, that were expressed by employees at the courthouse. Rep. Ashe told 22News the report showed a correlation between air particles that were present and cancer. Ashe’s dad worked in the building for 40 years and died of brain cancer.

“It’s a huge concern for us,” Rep. Ashe told 22News. “I mean, knowing your dad worked here all these years and knowing the work he loved and worked for may have killed him, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”

“I think that’s highly coincidental certainly my dear friend Judge Boyle suffered from that disease,” Rep. Puppolo said. “But I think what’s more compelling is what isn’t in that report and that’s what got me concerned. And for me, nothing short of a new courthouse is going to do it.”

The report also said they have good reason to believe toxic fume exposure has occurred and will continue to, but a cause hasn’t been determined. The company recommends Massachusetts Trial Courts investigate these issues further.

Rep. Puppolo said he has the support of the entire Hampden County delegation for building a new courthouse and believes they’ll get the state funding to get it done.

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