Home Business WeWork Removes In-Office Phone Booths Due To Formaldehyde Contamination – Forbes

WeWork Removes In-Office Phone Booths Due To Formaldehyde Contamination – Forbes

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"WEWORK

Private phone booths at the Embarcadero WeWork offices in San Francisco.

Michael Short/Bloomberg

Topline: WeWork is taking 1,600 in-office phone booths out of service in some of its U.S. and Canada locations after tests came back positive for elevated levels of formaldehyde, the company said Monday in an email to tenants obtained by Forbes.&nbsp;

  • In August, according to Business Insider, a tenant alerted WeWork to “odor and eye irritation” after spending time in the co-working giant’s in-office phone booths.&nbsp;
  • After testing by an outside consultant, WeWork said it found out last week the booths contained potentially high levels of formaldehyde, which according to the Environmental Protection Agency can cause&nbsp; “irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.” Even higher levels of exposure for longer periods of time may cause some types of cancers, according to the agency.
  • The contamination was caused by the manufacturer of the phone booths, WeWork said. It did not name the manufacturer.&nbsp;
  • Phone booths are scattered around WeWork locations and provide a private space for tenants to make phone calls.
  • WeWork said 1,600 phone booths in the U.S. and Canada will be taken out of commission while an additional 700 will be removed for more testing.

Crucial quote: “The safety and well-being of our members is our top priority, and we are working to remedy this situation as quickly as possible,” a WeWork spokesperson said in a statement.

Key background: The phone booth fiasco is yet another embarrassing problem for WeWork, which over the last month has imploded as it canceled its highly anticipated IPO and ousted its CEO and founder Adam Neumann.&nbsp;

The company’s new leadership is trying to distance itself from the erratic leadership style of Neumann by selling off the company’s assets—including its famed private jet—to cut costs and raise cash.

Tangent: WeWork’s founder and ousted CEO lost his billionaire status as a result of the unraveling of the company and his ouster, Forbes has reported.

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Topline: WeWork is taking 1,600 in-office phone booths out of service in some of its U.S. and Canada locations after tests came back positive for elevated levels of formaldehyde, the company said Monday in an email to tenants obtained by Forbes

  • In August, according to Business Insider, a tenant alerted WeWork to “odor and eye irritation” after spending time in the co-working giant’s in-office phone booths. 
  • After testing by an outside consultant, WeWork said it found out last week the booths contained potentially high levels of formaldehyde, which according to the Environmental Protection Agency can cause  “irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.” Even higher levels of exposure for longer periods of time may cause some types of cancers, according to the agency.
  • The contamination was caused by the manufacturer of the phone booths, WeWork said. It did not name the manufacturer. 
  • Phone booths are scattered around WeWork locations and provide a private space for tenants to make phone calls.
  • WeWork said 1,600 phone booths in the U.S. and Canada will be taken out of commission while an additional 700 will be removed for more testing.

Crucial quote: “The safety and well-being of our members is our top priority, and we are working to remedy this situation as quickly as possible,” a WeWork spokesperson said in a statement.

Key background: The phone booth fiasco is yet another embarrassing problem for WeWork, which over the last month has imploded as it canceled its highly anticipated IPO and ousted its CEO and founder Adam Neumann. 

The company’s new leadership is trying to distance itself from the erratic leadership style of Neumann by selling off the company’s assets—including its famed private jet—to cut costs and raise cash.

Tangent: WeWork’s founder and ousted CEO lost his billionaire status as a result of the unraveling of the company and his ouster, Forbes has reported.

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