IRVING, Texas, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2005, Dorothy Ferrell was diagnosed with Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease. She never had asthma or allergies and she never smoked. She went to work healthy and ended up with lung disease. Her new memoir, "Workplace Survival: Maintaining Faith Through Life's Catastrophes" (published by AuthorHouse - http://www.authorhouse.com), is two intertwined stories: the true account of how a reckless building renovation exposed Ferrell and her coworkers to dangerous toxins and threatened their lives, and also the story of her new beginning with God.
"After fourteen and one-half years of employment with this government,
I ended my career overnight due to 'recklessness,'" Ferrell writes.
It all started with the installation of a heating, ventilation and air
conditioning unit (HVAC) in a 1960s vintage anemic building suffering
from sick building syndrome (SBS). Many dangerous toxins were known to be
in the building - lead, aluminum, chromium, asbestos, mold, dust, fiber,
fungus and God only knows what else.
Ferrell worked as an administrative assistant in an old police department building. In a 1999 air quality report, the air-handling units were said to be "in generally poor condition with many items requiring attention." Three years later the renovation began. City officials assured all employees that the renovation would be safe for everyone, including pregnant women and those with existing respiratory conditions. Those assurances turned out to be false.
"My co-worker who shared the office and myself were constantly coughing, not knowing that particles were coming through the vents overhead," Ferrell writes.
After an asbestos abatement procedure, Ferrell returned to work to find that the protective plastic covering the asbestos-contaminated ceiling panels had fallen and an unidentified white powdery residue had dusted everything. On another occasion, Ferrell walked into the building and was met with noxious smoke billowing from the overhead HVAC vents.
"It was my faith in God that saw me through this horrific storm," Ferrell writes. "I learned the place where I thought was my greatest downfall and defeat turned out to be the place of a new beginning with God. I am forever grateful for God giving me the strength and courage to write this true story to share with others about the dangers of sick buildings and hazardous toxins."
"Workplace Survival" is Dorothy Ferrell's first book.
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