Honolulu Hale Plagued with Dust Mites

Councilmember Rod Tam
Councilmember Rod Tam

by Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A humidifier to treat the air. A tissue box within easy reach. Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam said allergy problems have forced him to keep these things in his office for years.

"People said, oh it's only you Rod and so forth," Tam said.

But it turns out there's something in the carpets and corners of City Hall. An environmental consultant determined nearly a dozen sections of the building, including Tam's office, are infested with dust mites.

"I sensed it very strongly because I have a sinus problem," Tam said.

Tam's still using a fam to blow a musty smell out of his office after city crews renovated it.

"Well, they ripped up all the carpet, put tile, cleaned all the chairs," Tam said.

A new tile floor in Tam's office should remain free of dust mites.

"It's better for the allergies," Tam said, "I think it's better for anybody who comes to visit me, my constituents and others who want to talk business."

But other problems remain.

"Well basically I think it's bad for the whole building, i'm concerned about the employees," Tam said. "I know there has to be money appropriated by the city council, we have to put the budget in, and then a clean up can be done."

Tam's still getting his files back in order, but he says at least he can breathe.

"Over the past few days since the clean up of my office," Tam said. "I don't have that problem of grabbing hold of a kleenex."