Today, I want to address a touchy subject: Mold in the Workplace. I have considered writing about this very subject numerous times, but didn’t know exactly which angle to take, because, for whatever reason, when people are confronted with the possibility of mold at work, they either don’t want to be a whistle-blower, or don’t know how to speak up to get the reaction that they need to get the problem fixed. So, yes, it can be very touchy. I will tell you, though, oftentimes, if you are feeling sick at work, you are not the only one. I would be willing to bet that there are others who are also feeling sick, and who also would like to know why. I am not saying that you shouldn’t speak up if you are alone in your mold suspicions, but definitely consider mentioning your issues to others before speaking up. That being said, here is the reader email that received:
I have enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for all of the information and for taking the time to address reader questions. I have one for you—I recently moved to a new building for my job and ever since have been experiencing headaches and sinus pressure. I feel fine at home and over the weekend, but as soon as the work week begins, and I am back in the office regularly, I get the headaches and general malaise all over again. As soon as I mentioned this to some of my co-workers, many of them chimed in and agreed with me, saying that they also were feeling ill at work with similar symptoms. Because I know that I have mold-related sinus issues, I immediately suspected mold as the culprit. The building is not in the best repair and has had some pretty significant leaks in the ceiling since I have been there. I also stood up on my desk to get a closer look at the AC supply to see if I could see any dust, loose insulation from the duct, or even mold. It was completely filthy. Black dust/mold all over it. At this point, I don’t really think that it is a question of mold, but rather, a question of how to go about testing and proving the mold problem, so that I can present the evidence to my employer. I just want the problem fixed, so that we can all feel good again at work. I also fear the health repercussions of being in a toxic environment everyday. It just cannot be good for any of us. Any and all advice is much appreciated.
Since this is a tricky topic and there is a lot to consider, I am going to share my response and further dialogue with this reader. I think it may shed some light on this subject for others of you out there experiencing the same issue.