The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 29, 2011
Another toxic turn for Board of Equalization headquarters

110829 BOE HQ.JPGBusted water pipes. Toxic mold. Leaky windows. Malfunctioning elevators. Falling glass.

Now add another ding on the long list of troubles at the Board of Equalization's headquarters at 450 N. St. in Sacramento: trace amounts of carcinogens.

The Department of General Services , which acts as the building's landlord, last month posted signs on the property that read: "Warning: Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm may be found in the facility. California Health and Safety Code Section 25249.6"

The reason, according to a Friday e-mail from BOE Interim Executive Director Kristine Cazadd, is that inspectors detected benzene and carbon disulfide in the building.

The amount of benzene in the air was below the state's permissible limits, Cazadd said in the e-mail. The carbon disulfide was detected from a concrete surface and couldn't be compared with state state standards that set limits for airborne concentrations, but "(r)egardless, the level detected was very low."

Still, there was enough of the chemicals detected for DGS to post the signs in keeping with Propostion 65.

Here's Cazadd's e-mail to BOE staff:
Prop 65 Signs at HQ building - Letter of Explanation
PHOTO: The 24-story Board of Equalization headquarters at 450 N St. in Sacramento. / Jay Mather, Sacramento Bee file photo

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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