Dr. Schwartz says that the unusually high number of cancer cases coming from employees at the Buffalo D-District precinct is probably a statistical fluke and unrelated to the mold found in the building or the three feet of standing water found in the basement. But the city is not taking any chances and evacuating the building.
Over the last ten years in the building’s 14 year history, at least ten Buffalo Police Officers and staff have been diagnosed with chest infections and various kinds of cancer.
This isn’t the first story about a high number of cancer cases linked to a location with mold. A publicized story in Stockholm reported that in 20 years, over 20 teachers in a school with stachybotrys have cancer. In a Wisconsin school, more than 27% of the employees over the last five years have been diagnosed with cancer.
The jury is still out on whether or not mold actually causes cancer. And, given the amount of litigation tied to such a principle, it will probably never be decided absolutely one way or the other. There are too many interested parties affecting the outcome of such a decision. Usually these things end up with just a reinstated claim that there is no proven link between mold and cancer.
Information regarding the situation is unclear and uncertain. Preliminary mold tests say that the mold found inside the station is no different than the mold found outside and is not considered ‘black mold.’ One article states that air quality tests showed poor air quality while a group doing environmental tests believes there it is not likely that there could be a dangerous level of VOCs. More testing is needed.
Also, while Buffalo Mayor Brown told reporters at a press conference that the precinct was closed immediately upon learning of a complaint filed by an employee, there are complaints on record about the district dating back to 1997 when the building was first constructed.
The problem gained attention when a police officer wrote a letter to the union stating that there was more than three feet of standing water in the basement and mold throughout the building. While the water was supposedly cleaned up less than a week after the complaint was sent, that much water can create a near irrecoverable mold problem in less than 24 hours. It is unknown how long the water was standing or what caused it.
Hopefully, this information will become clearer as more tests are done. But, after reading enough stories like this, it feels as though there are forces at work ensuring to keep out bad press.