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TRUMBULL COUNTY Records remain in quarantine



Published: Thu, May 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Poisonous mold has not been found in the rest of the building.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Records, files and computer databases that would help local officials respond to a disaster are still under quarantine, two weeks after offices for the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency were evacuated because of a poisonous mold.

Three county employees who worked in EMA offices in the basement of the Trumbull County Health Department building have been working from desks at the county 911 call center in Howland.

They have not been allowed to take anything with them, however, for fear the mold may spread. Items left behind include databases of dangerous chemicals stored at area companies, contact lists and some cleanup supplies for the HAZMAT team.

So far, so good

None has been needed in the two weeks they have been inaccessible, said Linda Beil, county EMA director.

"So far, we have been lucky," she added.

She said the material in the basement would all be available someplace else. Local fire departments are also required to keep lists of hazardous chemicals used in their areas, she continued.

The HAZMAT team borrowed absorbent pads from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station to clean up a fuel spill in Gustavus on Sunday, Beil said.

A worker will be sent into the basement of the health department to retrieve some items requested by EMA employees within the next few days, said Michael O'Brien, a county commissioner.

On Wednesday, health department officials announced that on the basis of a Youngstown company's tests, the mold appears to be contained to the basement of the building on Chestnut Avenue.

Where mold was found

Deadly mold has been discovered only in Beil's office, said Frank Migliozzi, the health department's director of environmental health.

The spores of two other species, which can cause asthma, were found in a room shared by the head of the county HAZMAT team and the EMA office manager.

The rest of the building, including the health department clinic on the first floor and health department offices above, are clean, he added.

Fixing the basement will require that the county hire a company used to working with filters, barriers and protective suits, Miggliozi said.

It will take several weeks for the county to advertise the project and award a contract, O'Brien said.

siff@vindy.com




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