An international expert on electromagnetic fields is investigating a reported sick building on the UC San Diego campus that may be blamed for the unusually high number of women who have developed breast cancer, it was reported Wednesday.
Between 2000 to 2006, eight women who worked in the university's Literature building reported developing breast cancer, The San Diego Union- Tribune reported. Two of them have died.
A group of university staffers and faculty members marched on campus Tuesday to protest what they call a hazardous work environment.
The protest's organizers said they are worried about the health of faculty members, staffers and students, and angry at the university's lack of action to reduce the risk attributed to the high-current electricity.
In June, a report commissioned by the university concluded that the incidence of breast cancer among women working in the building was four to five times higher than would be expected in the state's general population, according to the newspaper.
The study by a UCSD epidemiologist, Dr. Cedric Garland, found that there is a "possibility of a mild to modest increase in risk of breast cancer'' association with working near electrical and elevator equipment rooms on the first floor, the newspaper reported.
Steve Benedict, director of the university's Environment, Health and Safety Office, said the school is not concerned with what he called the "preliminary'' findings of the June report, the Union-Tribune reported.
The electromagnetic fields expert, whose name was not reported, was
called in by the university for an investigation expected to last two months,
according to the newspaper.
In the meantime, the elevators have been shut down and a number of offices on
the first floor have been vacated.