The discovery of black mold has prompted the temporary closure of four family court courtrooms in South Carolina. The closure is expected to affect about 500 people – including citizens, lawyers, judges and other staff members.
The decision to close the courtrooms was made during the early afternoon hours of a day that otherwise began fairly normally. Black mold had been discovered in the walls the night before as part of an ongoing mold removal project.
Hope Blackley, Clerk of Court, said that the mold became airborne after a worker pulled back wallpaper along the walls in the courtrooms scheduled for mold removal. Officials feared that the black mold could find its way into the ventilation system.
“Whatever this is that was visible, I was advised could be a health issue,” Blackley said. “I want to make sure we are being mindful of the citizens and employees who work here.”
RECOGNIZING BLACK MOLD
Initial test results confirmed the presence of Stachybotrys, a particularly nasty and toxic mold that produces poisons called mycotoxins.
Stachybotrys grows briskly in areas where moisture has accumulated from wall or roof leaks or chronically wet areas.
This particular toxic black mold is a greenish-black gummy substance. It has a slimy appearance as well because of a wet layer on its top. If the mold’s water source runs dry, the mold will appear dry and powdery.
HEALTH DANGERS OF BLACK MOLD
According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to toxic black mold can result in:
MOLD CONTROL IN THE WORKPLACE
The key to eliminating mold is moisture control. While water leaks and spills are a common occurrence, they should be stopped and cleaned quickly, preferably within 24-48 hours.
THE COSTS TO EMPLOYERS OF DEALING WITH MOLD IN THE WORKPLACE
The National Association of Environmental Management confirms that lawsuits arising from mold in the workplace are common. In fact, multi-million dollar lawsuits are not unheard of.
Often referred to as “the next asbestos,” mold can grow on just about any organic substance, as long as oxygen and moisture are present.
CAN YOUR BUSINESS AFFORD TO BE VULNERABLE TO MOLD?
CALL J&M KEYSTONE, INC.
The court officials in South Carolina made the right decision in closing their courtrooms until the mold issue can be resolved. A little inconvenience is certainly preferable over people getting sick and filing lawsuits.
Can your business afford to deal with the aftermath of a mold outbreak? We’re talking about damages that could easily run into millions of dollars in health claims and repairs.
To make sure your business is protected from the dangers of mold, we urge you to get in touch with the mold professionals at J&M Keystone, Inc. by calling 800-368-2757.
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