Mold outbreak threatens health of Florida law enforcement

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) employees are no strangers to taking risks on the field to get their jobs done. However, as toxic black mold threatens their office, FDLE workers are facing a whole new threat to their well being.

ABC Action News of Tampa reports that some employees are so worried about exposure to toxic black mold in their building that they now wear face masks to work in an attempt to combat potential illness.

The 19-year old building, which is occupied by more than 150 employees, has been privy to leaks in the ceiling caused by damage from several tropical storms since its construction.

In early 2011, the state approved funding for the renovation of the facility's roof, but due to bad weather and issues with the building's structural integrity, work on the office was put on hold.

Following a large flood in June, a visible mold outbreak became apparent, causing concern among workers using the facility.

Employees told the news source that after the removal of skylights in June as part of the roof's reconstruction, a 50-foot long strand of mold was visible along the vents in one of the office stairways.

The station reports that at least five employees were seen wearing face masks when they entered the building on July 20.

Officials from the FDLE told ABC that although mold remediation has been conducted to rid the building of potential toxic hazards, no air quality tests have taken place in the facility since 2008.

Though in this case toxic mold was visibly apparent, often the problem is hiding behind walls and waiting to reveal itself. Businesses or homeowners should seek a home inspection from a qualified contractor to determine if their property is at risk of a potential outbreak.