Toxic Chemical Vapors Detected in Buildings at Google Headquarters

By Cameron Scott 

social networks, social media, search, technology, googleElevated levels of the chemical TCE were found in recent Environmental Protection Agency tests in two Mountain View, Cal., Google buildings that sit where tech companies had manufacturing operations.

TCE, or trichloroethylene, was used by Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, Raytheon, at the North Wisman Road location where Google’s buildings QD6 and QD7 sit. TCE contaminated the groundwater and was detected in the buildings, one of which is labeled a “customer briefing center,” as vapor.

The sites are regularly tested by the Environmental Protection Agency. The most recent tests showed levels that exceeded the 5 micrograms per cubic meter safe limit identified by the agency. Levels were as high as 8 micrograms.

“The health and safety of our employees is Google’s number one priority, and we take several proactive measures to ensure the healthiest indoor air environments possible in our workplaces,” a Google spokeswoman said.

Employees who work in one of the buildings, interviewed for a local news report, said that they did not feel unsafe because the company regularly posted the chemical readings.

The company wouldn’t say exactly what caused the higher TCE levels, but indicated it had been addressed.