Air Traffic Control Tower in the News

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At the height of our exposure to toxic mold, I experienced serious memory loss and concentration issues. I assumed the problem was stress or age. I certainly didn't connect it with our mold remediation.

I was taking care of numerous sick children including a son with type 1 diabetes. I struggled with his doses and one time gave him our dog Pippen's insulin. (Pippen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes soon after our move into the home.) I didn't notice the insulin mistake. Colin did. He saved himself from a sudden blood sugar drop. He was 8 years old.

Consider the risks involved when the men and women charged with directing airplanes in and out of a given airport are exposed to toxic mold. This story centers on the air traffic control tower in Detroit.

Detroit Tower Mold News Story

Just this week Congressman John Dingell released this statement.

It is no secret that I have long been concerned about the black mold issue at Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s Air Traffic Control Facility. Since the mold was first discovered in 2005, the Michigan delegation and I have pushed the FAA and the Department of Transportation to undertake a swift and controlled remediation that would not endanger the health of the facility’s employees.

While I appreciate the progress that has been made since February, I still believe that more must be done. Unfortunately, almost three years later, I continue to receive calls from constituents employed at the facility that have become severely ill as a result of the mold.

To that end I will continue to hold the FAA to their responsibility of remediating any remaining mold in the Tower in a quick and responsible manner. I have also requested that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health do an on-site evaluation of the working environment. In an effort to speed these efforts along, my staff was at the table with the employees and their union when the Chief Operating Officer of the FAA met with and toured the facility. I have monitored this situation closely, and I will continue to do so.

It has come to my attention that 13 other airtraffic control facilities are experiencing mold issues similar to Detroit Metro Airport. My experience on this issue over the last few years tells me this should serve as a warning bell to the FAA that the current situation is far from adequate. It is clear to me that there must be a zero tolerance policy on mold in our air traffic control facilities.

Further, I encourage the FAA to extend their recent progress beyond the state line. I have argued cleaning up the mold is critical to both the safety and well-being of the employees of the facility, and the flying public. We require our air traffic controllers to have an uninterrupted focus and they deserve the finest, safest facilities in order to handle their complex tasks; anything less is both irresponsible and dangerous. It is not too late for those overseeing the facility to heed these concerns and provide an example of the government living up to its responsibility to both its employees and the public.”
I see this story and, like I do all news stories that focus on toxic mold, I hope this is the one that wakes us up. Before we experience a devastating tragedy.