ECS: Tests detect elevated presence of mold in 2 Spartanburg Cou - FOX Carolina 21

ECS: Tests detect elevated presence of mold in 2 Spartanburg County-owned buildings

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Testing confirmed that two Spartanburg County-owned buildings are suffering from a mold issue, and the county is proceeding with the recommendations to combat the issue.

The Spartanburg County Juvenile Justice building and the SC Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services building underwent a mold assessment report after concerns of the air quality within the facility, the assessments said. ECS Southeast was requested to perform a limited indoor air quality mold assessment of the interior of the structures on June 19.

According to a report by ECS, tests ffound that the Juvenile Justice building located at 200 Library Street suffered water intrusion that had occurred from leaking mortar joints in the parapet wall on the roof of the structure. The company said that had been recently repaired.

The company also found a similar issue at the probation building, which is next door to the justice building on Library Street. The company’s report said water intrusion had occurred from around a leaking window on the second floor of the structure that had been recently repaired. During that repair, mold was observed under the plaster wall, the report continued.

A laboratory analysis of samples taken at both facilities revealed the elevated presence of Penicillium/Aspergillus, and at the juvenile justice building, testing also revealed elevated levels of Stachybotrys, per ECS.

“Based on the laboratory analysis of the air samples collected, the spore counts for the sample collected from the  interior  of  Ms.  Hernandez’s office  at  the  time  of  our  site  visit  was  elevated  for Penicillium/Aspergillus and Stachybotrys when compared to exterior ambient samples. The spore counts for the remaining samples collected in the DJJ structure were not elevated when compared to the exterior ambient samples,” the report said about the juvenile justice building.

Penicillium is one of the most common fungi across the globe, with a rapid growth rate and approximately 200 species. The fungus is described as a velvety texture, often green, blue-green or gray green. Aspergillus also consists of several hundred species and one of these species can be found growing in damp walls. It is a major component of mildew. Stachybotrys grows slower but can gradually become the predominate mold species when water saturates environmental materials like soil.

Per the analysis, ECS issued the following list to prevent microbial contamination by moisture control:

  • Periodically perform O&M on the HVAC unit to include changing filters, cleaning coils, etc.  according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Operate the HVAC within manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
  • Respond to moisture intrusion events as soon as they are discovered. 
  • Identify and correct all moisture intrusion issues for the building. 
  • Confirm that exterior moisture intrusion concerns have been addressed. 

Officials say the county is proceeding with recommendation in both reports.

This isn't the first time a county-owned building has been the subject of mold testing. The Spartanburg County Courthouse was also dealing with mold issues in 2016.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Nontoxic mold closes parts of Spartanburg Co. Courthouse

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