The molds have been
identified as Cladosporium and Eurotium; the Eurotium is said to
be a possible forerunner to Aspergillus, which is potentially
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, molds such as
varieties of Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (the latter is not
implicated at the Kalia Tower) "can produce toxic substances
called mycotoxins." Inhalation exposure to mycotoxins can produce
symptoms including "mucous membrane irritation, skin rash, nausea,
immune system suppression, acute or chronic liver damage, acute or
chronic central nervous system damage, endocrine effects, and
cancer," the EPA states on its Web site (www.epa.gov).
Fourteen workers at the Kalia Tower reported health symptoms
caused by exposure to mold in the tower. Ten workers said they had
irritation of the eye, nose, and throat, two said they had skin
rashes and two reported the mold had made their asthma worse.
Schall said that since the hotel's closing, a few guests who
said they had symptoms also have contacted management.
Dr. Joseph Jarvis, associate professor of the University of
Nevada School of Medicine, questioned workers in the Kalia and
Lagoon towers. (Mold was found in a corridor of the recently
renovated Lagoon Tower.) Workers from the Tapa Tower were also
questioned. No evidence of allergic respiratory illness was
reported, Jarvis said.
The Tapa Tower, where most ASHRAE sessions were held, was said
to have mold levels "more typical of any building," according to
the Star-Bulletin. The Lagoon had mold that was "confined to
ceilings in a third-floor corridor." Only workers from the Kalia
Tower reported symptoms.
An early investigation by Air Quality Services Inc., an
Atlanta-based IAQ consulting firm, showed that humidity in the
guestrooms was higher than normal. The cause of the high indoor
humidity has not yet been determined, although it seems likely to
have been caused by a combination of conditions, AQS officials