Business owner says building in Rocky Hill making workers sick - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Business owner says building in Rocky Hill is making workers sick

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AAS Custom Jeep LLC AAS Custom Jeep LLC

Eyewitness News asked the tough questions about a Connecticut workplace that appears to be making employees sick.

The owner of a business inside A Rocky Hill Industrial Park contacted Eyewitness News after he and co-workers began having breathing problems and nosebleeds among other issues.

Central Connecticut Health District is eagerly awaiting the results of testing from AAS Custom Jeep LLC.

Owner John Turek gave Eyewitness News a brief tour of his facility, where they specialize in customizing vehicles. 

He told Eyewitness News he moved into to the Bellamose Business Park in November and invested $500,000 into it.

But now, Turek said he believes a green powder he noticed in the building is making him and his co-workers unhealthy with breathing issues, shaking hands and nosebleeds.

"We didn't know what the green powder was or any of the green powder on the floor," Turek said. "We just knew, over the period of probably the first month, two, three, we weren't feeling well. Some of us were getting sick."

Turek asked OSHA to do some testing on his business. He said preliminary results sent to him indicate significant levels of something called hexavalent chromium.

"It's here. It's not going anywhere without some extreme help," Turek said. "Someone has to come here and close this building down or something."

Hexavalent chromium was the chemical that polluted groundwater and made a community sick in the award-winning true life film, Erin Brockovich.

In this case, Turek said he has been told the hexavalent chromium got in the air.

Eyewitness News wanted to track down Michael Solimene, who is listed in state records as the principal of this industrial park, to ask the tough questions.

The search led Eyewitness News to a location in New Britain, which Solimene also owns. A spokesman for Solimene told Eyewitness News,  "No comment."

A property manager said Eyewitness News were "hypochondriacs"  for doing the story and added a second test on the business park came back negative.

Meanwhile, Turek said he's spending his time now shutting down his business and told customers he is closed until further notice.

Turek adds when he is inside the business, he's wearing a full tyvek suit with a special clean air feed.

When the full OSHA report on this workplace comes out, Eyewitness News will let you know the result.

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