Numerous residents in the neighborhoods near the former downtown hospital in Princeton complained yesterday about a strong odor in the air that smelled like paint thinner.
Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser received about half a dozen complaints about the issue. Some residents also posted complaints on social media.
Grosser said contractors for developer AvalonBay are applying an epoxy coating to the parking garage that is located at the former hospital site on Witherspoon Street.
A contractor resurfaced the second and third levels of the garage, and is now coating the surface with a polyurethane waterproof material to seal the cement paint.
“Yesterday the odor was quite strong,” said Grosser. “We contacted the Mercer County Division of Public Health, which is responsible for enforcing odor air pollution regulations. They met us on site and began an investigation, at which point we were informed by the project manager that on site work is going to be finished tomorrow (Friday)…That’s not to say the odor is going to go away.”
The contractor painted a coat of the sealant on the garage surface yesterday, and planned to paint a second coat today and a final coat Friday.
Anyone with a complaint about the odor should contact the town health department during business hours, or the town’s non-emergency number after hours, Grosser said. Complaints will be forwarded to the county. Town officials will also be responding to the complaints as well to ensure a proper response.
The odor should begin to diminish after the work is completed Friday, officials said.