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Hawaii Convention Center kept a huge mold problem during APEC as a secret

Hawaii mold problem: should Hillary Clinton be concerned?

Nov 18, 2011

While all the APEC dignitaries and international visitors were at the Hawaii Convention Center, there was actually a dirty secret hidden behind the walls in the form of mold.

World leaders in Honolulu during the APEC conference weren't told about a very dirty secret.

The problem is with the four-story water fountain located front-and-center inside the Convention Center lobby.

After 14 years of use, leaks have formed as the tile and grout components began to show signs of wear and breeches into the supporting wall structure. The drywall and interior building substrates have begun to hold moisture, and, therefore, mold started to grow in the adjacent pump room," said Jennifer Nakayama, Honolulu Convention Center Director of Operations, in a written statement.

This was already known in September, but authorities kept quiet.
An investigation done by Pacific Enterprises Hawaii, an environmental consultant firm and certified mold inspector, discovered a huge mold problem.

Hawaii Convention officials minimized the problem. They don't think foreign leaders walking and breathing around the fountain area were in any danger. Hawaii News has now asked: Should Hillary Clinton be concerned?

The drywall is so wet, the mold spores haven't gone airborne. Even if it did, because the lobby is so big, the danger is greatly reduced.

Experts stated, mold is not the end of the world, if it is taken care of.

"The mold has remained in isolated colonies and has not impacted or posed a hazard to public-use spaces, and steps have been taken to mitigate the issue for any employees who have access to the area," said Nakayama.

Apparently the mold is happy. Because the drywall is so wet the mold spores haven't gone airborne.

"I think the important thing to remember is that mold is symptom it's not a problem," said Daren Kaneshiro, MD Cleaning and Restoration, who is a certified indoor environmentalist and mold specialist.

Kaneshiro has worked on various mold cases that are downright disgusting, but mold is not the end of the world if it is taken care of. The State is evaluating and has been keeping the fountain going, to prevent the mold from drying.

Contractors were hired - after APEC.

Hawaii mold problem: should Hillary Clinton be concerned?
Honolulu Convention Center

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