Pasadena, CA, August 22nd, 2011 -- Earlier this month, it was reported that workers were battling mold contamination in the tunnels under Fort Greely in Alaska. Six underground silos that house rockets used to shoot down enemy warheads are reported to be contaminated with mold. The repairs are part of a $1.16 billion fix to the nation’s missile defense program.
The mold growth occurred because water pipes in the tunnel were covered with insulation that contained a paper backing. As the pipes sweated the paper backing provided an ideal environment for the mold to grow and reproduce. A lack of ventilation added to the perfect storm for conditions conducive to fungal growth.
Little else has been disclosed so far. There is a brief mention of the situation in the 2011 Fiscal Defense Authorization that six silos require decommissioning because it “lacks backup power and has significant infrastructure reliability issues.”
“Mold is regularly reported to be responsible for health issues, lawsuits and even fatal fungal infections, but this is the first time many of us have heard of mold being blamed for diminishing the nation’s ability to defend itself,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, a leading mold and IAQ testing laboratory. “Anyplace that has elevated humidity or moisture intrusion can quickly turn into a moldy mess. With mold’s ability to begin growing in as short as 24 hours it doesn’t take long for fungal spores to make the indoor environment a potential threat to anyone who spends time there. When people are exposed to mold it can trigger asthma attacks, cause allergies and in susceptible individuals could even lead to potentially fatal fungal infections.”
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