Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- Recently, the Cayman Compass published an article about challenges and health concerns at all three fire stations on Grand Cayman. According to the report, the Chief Fire Officer has informed the Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee that mold is an issue inside of all of the fire stations on the island.
A high number of sick days have been reported among the fire crews which could be a direct result of exposure to elevated levels of mold in the air they breathe. Molds produce allergens, irritants and in some cases, potentially toxic substances known as mycotoxins. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. These allergic reactions to mold are common and can be immediate or delayed. Allergic responses may include hay fever-like symptoms such as headache, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Repeated or single exposure to mold, mold spores or mold fragments may cause non-sensitive individuals to become sensitive to mold and repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity. Mold exposure can even cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.
“Breathing mold may also cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a condition that resembles bacterial pneumonia which can be misdiagnosed,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Exposure to some types of mold associated with water damaged buildings may even result in opportunistic infections in people whose immune systems are weakened or suppressed.”
One of the Caribbean’s leading indoor environmental quality consulting firms that can help identify and resolve mold issues is Zimmetry Environmental. Based in Puerto Rico, their experts are familiar with the regions unique challenges due to tropical storms, hurricanes, high humidity levels and building techniques and materials found in the area. Zimmetry’s staff can investigate, test, diagnose, recommend corrective actions and oversee remediation projects to remove mold and its root cause. The end result is a healthy building with superior indoor environmental quality for all building occupants.