Orlando, FL, April 19th, 2016
Recently, it was reported that pounds of bat feces were discovered in the ceiling above an office in a Florida state government building in Tallahassee. The Orlando Sentinel has since reported that the state is moving 1,500 workers from multiple agencies out of the facility to new locations.
The newspaper also reported that three state workers have filed a lawsuit against the companies that manage and own the building. The lawsuit claims the workers suffered health issues due to the bat guano, mold and air quality issues.
Bat guano not only creates unpleasant odors and possible property damage, it also supports a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum that can cause a potentially severe infection, histoplasmosis. If the guano is disturbed, fungal spores can become aerosolized and inhaled causing some people to develop the infection. Many people who breathe in these spores don’t get sick, but those who do may develop a fever, cough, chills, headache, chest pain, body aches and fatigue. Symptoms often appear between three and seventeen days after exposure. In some people with a weakened immune system, the infection can become severe, especially if it spreads from the lungs to other organs.
“Bats can fit through small openings to reach an attic where they may congregate in large numbers,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Over time, they will deposit significant amounts of guano that can support the growth of Histoplasma capsulatum creating concerns for building occupants. When environmental sampling is needed for Histoplasma capsulatum, EMSL offers a rapid PCR method that provides for extremely accurate and rapid results.”
EMSL has sponsored an educational video about potential health concerns due to bats living in attics and indoor air quality issues that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/dJ-86U2obKA.
To learn more about testing for Histoplasma capsulatum or other environmental, occupational, indoor air quality (IAQ), health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.