Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0244-2373, Kaiser Northlake Atrium, Atlanta, Georgia.
In response to a request from employees of Kaiser Permanente (SIC- 8011), an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Northlake Atrium, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Concerns were focused on Stachybotrys fungus. The facility housed medical clinics, offices, a pharmacy and a medical records storage facility. The building had a history of water leakage. Employees noted symptoms consisting of cough, sneezing, urticaria, and shortness of breath along with otitis, sinusitis, asthma, viral meningitis, and pseudotumor cerebri. They blamed the mycotoxins associated with Stachybotrys mold which had been detected during sampling by an outside consultant. In response, extensive remediation efforts had been conducted at the site. By the time of the NIOSH visit, much of the remediation had been completed. A review of medical records did not show evidence of mucosal or blood abnormalities which would be associated with stachybotry toxicosis. A sample of fungal contamination was collected for culture and the following were identified: Penicillium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, and unidentified yeasts. The authors conclude that results of this survey do not support the association of symptoms experienced with exposure to Stachybotrys. Symptoms may be related to allergic reactions to other molds. The authors recommend that efforts to eliminate mold exposures be continued.