Tauranga's central city and Greerton public libraries are being checked for the toxic mould that induced asthma-like symptoms in a 27-year-old former first-grade rugby player.

It followed the discovery of stachybotrys in parts of the council's downtown civic centre built since 1990.

Confirmation on December 4 that mould was the culprit for the bronchial inflammation suffered by the staff member led to a decision to extend testing to the rest of the civic block, including the central library.

Council chief executive Garry Poole said the testing of the central and Greerton libraries was a precautionary measure. He invited anyone with concerns to use the online library service or go to the Mount Maunganui and Papamoa branches until the results were known.


The staffer who fell ill with asthma-like symptoms was reported to the council's health and safety committee and relocated within days to elsewhere in the building.

"His health is rapidly improving," Mr Poole said.

The Bay of Plenty Times understands meeting rooms next to the council's main debating chamber now house most of the 36 staff shifted to safer parts of the building.

Mr Poole said there had been ongoing issues with leaks, especially during "adverse" weather.

The third-floor additions to the library end of the civic centre about 10 years ago had stopped those leaks to a great extent, he said.

Libraries manager Jill Best said she had not heard of any issues raised by library users since the announcement on Tuesday about the discovery of the mould elsewhere in the civic centre: "No one made the connection."

The Greerton Library was being tested because the northern wall always leaked when heavy weather came in from a particular direction. That issue will be resolved early next year when the building is demolished to make way for a $3.45 million replacement.

Ms Best said the third-storey additions to the central library had made it weatherproof after years of putting plastic sheets over book shelves and placing plastic buckets to catch the drips when the building's internal gutters failed in heavy rain.


Mr Poole said the i-Site on the corner of Willow and Wharf streets was also being checked for mould as a precaution because it was part of the council's civic centre.

Specialist advice was sought from WorkSafe and Toi Te Ora Health's Medical Officer of Health, who had confirmed that the council was responding appropriately, he said.

Remedying the toxic mould outbreak
*Remove all badly affected carpet.
*Find and eliminate the sources of moisture.
*Wash all hard surfaces with warm soapy water, and dry.
- Enviro Clean & Restoration
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