Pasadena, CA, March 30th, 2011
Earlier this month The Bay Citizen published a story about the alarming number of western gulls that are dying near San Francisco’s industrial Pier 94. The article, “Mold Mystery Surrounds SF Bird Deaths”, states a preliminary investigation by the California Department of Fish and Game may have found the cause.
According to the article, “The department found 15 to 20 dead or dying gulls monthly, according to California Fish and Game Warden William O’Brien. It performed autopsies on a number of dead gulls and found that growing inside their lungs was a mold called Aspergillus, which suffocated the birds.”
Aspergillus is a genus of mold consisting of several hundred species. Some species of Aspergillus can also be harmful to people. According to Wikipedia, “Some Aspergillus species cause serious disease in humans and animals. The most common causing pathogenic species are Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus flavus. Aspergillus flavus produces aflatoxin which is both a toxin and a carcinogen, and which can potentially contaminate foods such as nuts.”
LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical, is one of the leading providers of mold and other environmental testing services throughout California. “Mold is a natural part of the environment and can be found all around us, but elevated levels of mold in outdoor or indoor environments can be a real health threat,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “These western gulls that are dying at an alarming rate aren’t quite the same as a canary in a coal mine, but they should provide us all with a wakeup to the potential damage to people and animals from elevated mold exposure. Aspergillus is also one of the most commonly found types of mold discovered in indoor environments that have suffered water damage,” he continued.
LA Testing has multiple locations across California that provide environmental and indoor air quality (IAQ) testing solutions. To learn more please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 303-0047.
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.