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Google buildings exposed to toxic vapors left by chipmakers

Vapors from a toxic substance known as TCE have been detected at the company's QD6 and QD7 offices on North Whishman Road in Mountain View, Calif.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Two Google offices in Silicon Valley are exposed to toxic vapors, a new report out of San Francisco claims.

According to San Francisco's CBS Local, a division of CBS, the same company that owns CNET, Trichloroethylene (TCE) vapors have been detected at Google's QD6 and QD7 buildings on North Whishman Road in Mountain View, Calif. According to CBS Local, the maximum normal exposure to TCE is 5 micrograms per cubic meter. Google's buildings had readings as high as 8 micrograms per cubic meter.

The vapors were not Google's fault; the company moved some offices to that location. Several chipmakers, including Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, and Raytheon previously used the land. It's believed that the vapors result from previous occupancy.

Google has installed filters and conducted air quality testing. The company told CBS Local in a statement that it takes "several proactive measures to ensure the healthiest indoor air environments possible."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it'll take decades for anyone exposed to the leak to see adverse health issues. So far, Google employees have been exposed for several months.

CNET has contacted Google for comment on the leak. We will update this story when we have more information.