Some at San Diego State's political science department are wondering whether a specific room in the school's Nasatir Hall might be linked to the brain cancer deaths of three people who spent large amounts of time in the space, the Daily Aztec reports.
During a department faculty meeting, faculty members questioned whether environmental factors could be at play and suggested that someone look into whether the incidence of cancer was abnormally high.
Three people who are believed to have worked in the room have died of glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer, according to faculty members who work in the building. A 49-year-old professor died in 1993, a 69-year-old professor died in the summer of 2008, and a 26-year-old graduate student died in October 2008. Another professor, now retired, was diagnosed with a different form of brain cancer, primary brain lymphoma. He worked for years in the room next to the suspect space.
The building had been slated for renovation, but the California budget crisis has put many construction projects in a holding pattern.
There are plenty of theories for the multiple cases of cancer (asbestos, radiation, sheer coincidence), and members in the political science department are cautious about raising alarm. They just want someone to look into it. "We don't have any proof, and we are not accusing anybody of anything," said one associate professor. "We are just raising questions."