When Janet Bordelon entered the Central Campus Recreation
Building Saturday morning, she wasn’t planning on running
five miles. She also wasn’t expecting to spend the remainder
of the day at University Hospital after suffering a severe allergy
attack.

Bordelon’s episode would cause the University to remove
cleaning solution and towels from the CCRB and investigate the
incident. She spoke to The Michigan Daily yesterday about the
attack.

After spending about one hour in the facility, Bordelon used
towels and chemical solution provided in the building to clean the
machine she had used. She said shortly after contact with the
towels and solution, she began experiencing symptoms of an allergic
reaction.

Upon returning to her dorm in the Law Quad, Bordelon said her
face was so swollen, it was “literally not
recognizable.”

“I passed out once in my room, woke up and crawled out
into the hallway where I am pretty sure I passed out again. I was
lucky that my neighbor was home, as she was able to call
911,” she explained.

Bordelon said she spent most of the day at University Hospital
and reported the incident to CCRB staff Sunday.

She later learned she had suffered anaphylactic shock, a severe
whole-body allergic reaction.

“I had no idea it was an allergic reaction at the time. I
mean, I have seasonal allergies — I take Claritin sometimes
— but it’s not anything severe,” said Bordelon, a
Near Eastern Studies graduate student instructor.

Later, Bordelon said she overheard another girl who apparently
also suffered a similar attack after using the CCRB facilities.

“I had been going there regularly this year and last year.
To me, that just seemed really strange. Which is why I thought it
was just something on a certain towel. But this other girl who was
there 12 hours later than me, she went later in the evening. I
don’t know if she could have used the same towel as
me,” Bordelon said.

Although the University’s Department of Occupational
Safety and Environmental Health attempted to investigate the cases,
spokeswoman Diane Brown said no new developments will be uncovered
“unless someone else comes forward with new, other,
additional information.”

OSEH recommended to CCRB staff that towels and solution be
removed from the facilities, which was done earlier this week.
Because the second alleged victim has not reported her case to
OSEH, Brown said the investigation cannot move forward.

Anyone who has experienced similar reactions, can contact OSEH
at (734) 647-1143.

Although Bordelon spoke highly of the recent CCRB renovations,
she expressed reservations about using towels and cleaning solution
in the future.

“I’m older. I’m a grad student, and I’ve
been to a lot of gyms in my day and I have to say, the CCRB,
they’ve done a terrific job renovating it,” Bordelon
said.

“The fact that they’re still using this antiquated
towel system where they’re using the same communal towels to
wipe down the machines where they’ve been up all day to wipe
down the machines … it just doesn’t seem like a very
sanitary practice,” she said.

“After this weekend, there’s just no way. I’m
just too scared to pick one up. My life is worth more to me than
following that system.”

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