Air testing found mold spores.
Several employees at the Flagler County Sheriff's Office Operations Center on State Road 100 in Bunnell have come down with strange skin rashes, leading the county have the building checked for mold.
The company hired to investigate possible mold issues, H2H Indoor Air Solutions, found two species, leading the Sheriff's Office to close two rooms in the county-owned building, which was constructed from the remnants of the old hospital building.
"As soon as Sheriff Staly learned about the employee concerns, he contacted the County Administrator, Mr. Craig Coffey, who took action to determine if there is an environmental issue with their facility," Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Strobridge said. "Mr. Coffey and his staff have coordinated all the testing and any remediation needed for this building."
Sheriff Rick Staly, representatives from the county and representatives from the Flagler County branch of the Florida Department of Health recently met and explained the proposed mold remediation process to employees, Strobridge said.
The problem began several weeks ago, when three employees who worked in the same room, Room 129, all got skin rashes and went to see their doctors, who believed they were experiencing an allergic reaction. Four other employees who worked in the room were unaffected.
One of the employees who was affected, a sergeant, said she didn't have any issues before moving into her office, according to the H2H report. She was moved out of the space but didn't improve, but did get better when she left for a week to go to a conference. One of the other employees who was affected developed a respiratory issue in addition to a rash.
Molds create allergens and in some cases also produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, according to the H2H report.
Molds can also cause asthma attacks in allergic people with asthma, and can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people, according to the report.
H2H recommended that the county have a professional company fully remediate Room 129 and the building's IT room, fix a damager HVAC damper and rebalance the HVAC system, clean and sanitize ductwork, install a charcoal filter, clean the break from with a bacteria cleaner, install an air purifier with a charcoal filter in Room 129, and then retest the building.