Spartanburg Co. Courthouse workers seek medical help after possible reactions to mold cleanup chemicals


Spartanburg County voters approved a Penny Sales Tax to fund new government buildings, but mold problems at the existing County Courthouse are far from over.

7News has learned three people had to seek medical help Thursday after falling ill. They all had symptoms that may be related to the chemicals used in the latest mold clean-up over the weekend.

‘I’ve received probably about six emails, but I know three people who have gone to the doctor,” said Hope Blackley, the Clerk of Court.

Johniece Wofford is one of them.

She says after the mold remediation in the family court area this weekend, she’s been feeling a burning in her nose and throat since Monday. Thursday it was so bad, she had to go to Organizational Health.

“We had 2 people in our office that suffered a bloody nose, myself and my co-worker, nose just started bleeding out of the blue, and those are some of the small things we have, we have the headaches that are excruciating, the light-headedness, dizziness,” said Wofford.

Blackley says a court reporter had an even more severe reaction, and EMS was called.

“When she was trying to drive herself home, she blacked out, and so she was rushed to the emergency room,” said Blackley.

It’s unclear whether the cleanup chemicals, the mold itself or something else in the building set off the reaction.

A Safety Data sheet of the chemicals used in the mold cleanup shows when inhaled it can cause irritation to the nose, throat, respiratory tract and even lung damage.

Meanwhile, test results following this weekend’s remediation show mold levels are still elevated in the family court area, so more cleanup is needed.

That’s no surprise to to Attorney John Strickland, who had to wear a special respiratory mask in court today.

“If I don’t have it I have a severe reaction and I have to go to the emergency room,” he said.

“We’re so excited, we appreciate everything that everyone has done to get out and vote for the penny sales tax,” said Wofford.

“But in the meantime we are still suffering and we are still coming in here and doing everything we can for our community.”

Even though the taxpayers have approved the funding, a new courthouse isn’t expected to be complete until 2022.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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