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Air quality check finds mould three times normal level in Melcor Centre putting workers at risk

October 8, 2020

Government employees who work at the Melcor Centre in downtown Lethbridge, have been notified by their union that high levels of mould have been detected in their workplace due to repeated incidents of flooding.

A letter dated September 24th states that air quality tests last January showed one type of mould was found to be at three times the normal level. While this level is below what is considered hazardous by Occupational Health and Safety, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is concerned that long term exposure could put their members at risk. AUPE says the province and Alberta Health Services need to address this problem right away.

"We have about 230 members working in the building both with the government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services," says Karen Weiers, AUPE Vice President. "We've had dozens of members who have told us that they're experiencing health and respiratory issues, including recurring cough and cold and migraines, and these are all the symptoms of mould.

"The fear is made even worse now when we're living in what we're living with this pandemic - with a virus that attacks the respiratory system. So this is no time to be risking the health of our Alberta workers," says Weiers.

AHS and the GOA are currently in a long term lease with Melcor Centre that can't be broken. Since 2014 there have been around eight floods, two of which were in May and June of this year.  

The Melcor Centre, formerly known as the Lethbridge Centre, was originally built in 1975. The second retail level was added in 1988.