A consultant says dozens of people at a northern Illinois school became sick from a trash odor, not carbon monoxide. That assessment comes from Geoff Bacci, an industrial hygienist hired to review the Jan. 14 incident at Cortland Elementary School. More than 70 people to need medical treatment after they complained of dizziness and other symptoms. The students, teachers and staff were all treated for low levels of carbon monoxide exposure, but Bacci says they became ill from the odor released by a nearby landfill. The fumes got into the school's ventilation system after being released when a contractor dug into a section of decomposing garbage. A DeKalb County judge ordered the landfill to take steps to ensure similar leaks don't happen again.
Support Your Public Radio Station