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Soon after Donna Wheeler became a detective at the Southeast Community Police Station, which serves Watts and surrounding areas, she started having trouble breathing.

Her respiratory problems were worse at the end of a workday, she said. When she was on vacation, her symptoms improved. Her doctor diagnosed her with asthma caused by irritants in her environment.

Wheeler is one of 115 LAPD officers and civilian employees who have filed worker compensation claims alleging that their respiratory issues are caused by unsanitary conditions at Southeast Station, including mold and bird feathers in the ceiling vents, that have existed since 2008.

The city of Los Angeles recently commissioned a report from mold consultants, who inspected the vents in the station’s detective area. The report, completed in November, concluded that a microbial health hazard did not exist but that the city should try to reduce the mold.

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