[Santa-Monica-Mold-Problem] [School-Mold-Problem] [School-Mold-Health-Symptoms] [School-Mold-Inspection-Testing]
School Mold website.
One-Third of US Public
Schools Have Mold
One-third of US public elementary and high schools have serious
bad indoor air quality problems such as mold infestation from roof
leaks, according to Dr. Gupta in his CNN-TV program "CNN Presents"
on June 23, 2012. Dr. Gupta's program broadcasted several
video clips of serious mold growth problems in public schools in
several U.S. states.
Mold in School Questions
I recently began my employment at a school system.
Within the week that I began to work, I became sick,
which I felt was a case a pneumonia. I just thought it
was from the cold weather. After a while, I noticed
that most of the students in my classroom were sick,
and the other teacher that I work with. I still have a
cough that will not go away and have had some
allergies and respiratory problems, such as not
feeling that my body is getting enough air. The other
teacher is experiencing the same respiratory infection and she is
pregnant. We found 2 large black molds in our classroom on the
wall yesterday. We also noticed that some of the wood
that has been used as a paneling is bowed and is
rotting. There also seems to be a light green type
mold growing on the inside near the paneling. We had
moved our classroom furniture around recently and had not noticed
it before. We informed our principal, who
in turn, notified the superintendent. Someone from the
maintenance dept. came in today to tell us that they
would repair the problem, but did not say when. Also,
other classrooms also have the same problem in our building. This
building was built in about the 1930s,
but not exactly sure.
My questions are: What should we expect the school
district to do? Should they close our school until all
of this has been repaired? We do not want a band-aid put on this
problem. We want his problem dealt with.
A. Your, staff associate’s, and
student mold health symptoms plus the visible evidence of wood rot and
mold growth make it mandatory
that the school do immediate, professional mold inspection, mold testing, and
mold remediation. But don’t rely on the school to do adequate mold
inspection, testing, and remediation. Take close up photographs of the
mold growth as evidence of the mold problem. To learn the mold
truth about your classroom, you should also use our do it yourself mold
test kits to mold test the air of the classroom and of the outward air
flow from the heating/cooling duct register in the classroom, as well as
an outdoor mold control test. Do-it-yourself mold test instructions
are provided at
mold test kit. Mold test kits are available at a large hardware
or home improvement store. Then, please send the collected mold samples,
including samples of the visible mold growth in your classroom, to a mold analysis lab for
mold species identification and quantification. If there are more mold
colonies growing in the indoor mold samples
than the outdoor mold control sample, or if there are mold species growing
indoors that are not in the outdoor test, that is prima facie evidence
that there is a mold problem. Then, based on the mold lab reports, you
should send a certified letter to your school principal, school
superintendent, each school board member, your local city/county health
department, and your state department of education to demand
that the entire school be professionally mold inspected, tested, and
remediated. Many schools, like many employers, are not willing to inspect
and test for mold because they don't want to spend money to protect staff
and student health. Unresolved workplace mold infestation is
usually considered to be a safety violation of most state's occupational
safety and health administration laws and regulations. Learn
what your school should do about safe and effective
mold remediation. Of course, if there are elevated levels of airborne
spores in a particular classroom or other school area, that classroom or
school should not be occupied until the area has been professionally
mold remediated and it tests mold-safe after clearance testing by a
Certified Mold Inspector.
Q. Presently, I am working in a school office that has had three
of its walls removed due to mold over the summer. I didn't realize how
badly it was bothering me until I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me
with environmental asthma. Since then, my school brought out a professional
who said my office was high in Penicillium mold but well within the normal
range. Is there such a thing as a normal range?
There is no such thing as normal range for any indoor mold because of huge
differences building to building and because people differ substantially in
their mold sensitivity to mold exposure. Penicillium is the third most
dangerous indoor mold. The remaining mold levels may be high enough in your
office or elsewhere in the school to be putting your health at risk. Learn
all about available medical mold diagnostic and treatment procedures in the
in depth ebook Mold Health Guide, available to you from our online mold
products catalog. It is likely that the school mold remediation was not
effective in eliminating mold problems in your office or elsewhere in the
school. Airborne mold spores can travel in currents from any mold
infestation location in the school to cross contaminate the entire school
If a school has a "book drive" (donation of used books), what 'mold'
concerns should be made part of the process of 'intaking' of used material?
Is there a detection method? If mold if detected, is there a
method of its elimination? Should any collection site be
outside of the 'school proper?' If you can point me in any
direction, I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Your questions are certainly very important to mold school health. Yes, it
would be good not to bring potentially moldy books into the school building
itself. There should be an outdoor collection point [covered roof of
course!]. The books should pass the mold smell/mold visible test. If a book
smells moldy or it has easily visible water and/or mold damage, the book
should be excluded from the collection drive. Testing of each book would
take lots of mold test kits and mold lab analysis money and about a week's
time [for mold growth in mold culture plates over a 7 day time period prior
to analysis by a trained mold microbiologist].
Q. I work as a consultant for a school district. We
have a Library located in a building build in 1992, which has had
a leaky roof ever since it opened. I recently was called in due to
the Librarian with "illness" associated with being in the room. We
immediately fixed the roof, removed the carpet and re-tiled,
discarded any water damaged materials or books. The fresh air
intake was working, and the air-sampling (spore trap) samples
showed less types/amounts inside than out. (other bulk tests were
performed also). Later that month the Librarian found more water
damaged discolored books and still complained of shortness of
breath, dizziness, blacking out, and ear infections. We removed
each book individually HEPA vacuumed it and wiped it down with a
mild bleach & water solution. We retested and the tests results were
considered acceptable. Some yeast were found in the dust sample collected
though. She is now worse than ever????? Any advice???
Here are some suggestions: 1. Have the workplace mold inspected
and tested by a
Certified Mold Inspector to be absolutely sure [second opinion] that there is no
remaining mold infestation problem. 2. Have the
also inspect and test the home/apartment of the employee for
possible mold problems. Over 75% of all homes and apartments have
a mold problem, a problem unknown to most residential owners and
occupants. 3. Get the best possible medical help for the employee,
especially by a pulmonary physician [lung doctor] and neurologist.
Once mold begins growing in the employee's body, medical
intervention is often required for getting rid of the internal
mold growth---despite the fact that you may have done a wonderful
job of mold remediation in your workplace.
Q. I'm looking for your help, please. I am working in a school that
had a HUGE mold problem this past summer. The administration says
that the custodial staff "took care of it" and that it is no
longer an issue. I myself, as well as many others in the building,
am having respiratory problems that I believe are being caused by
the mold. Isn't this an unsafe working/learning situation? Can you
help, or guide me to someone that can?
Your school's custodial staff probably does not have the mold training,
expertise, and experience to test for and remove mold problems in your
school building. Because building occupants are experiencing respiratory
problems, you know that the mold work done by the custodians was inadequate
and ineffective. You can document the existence of mold problems in your
classroom, heating/cooling system, and elsewhere in the building by buying
and using do it yourself mold test kits from a large hardware or home
improvement store with our expert mold laboratory mold identification. Once you have received the mold
test lab results that document a problem, in comparison to an
outdoor mold control test, you should send a copy of the mold
lab results by certified mail [demanding mold inspection, mold testing,
and mold remediation be done by trained
mold professionals] to your
school principal, superintendent, each member of the school
board, state department of education, local health department,
county health department, state health department, your state
Occupational Health and Safety Administration [OHSA, and to local news
mold leads to recall effort
June 11, 2004
By TIM ZATZARINY JR., Courier-Post Staff, WASHINGTON TWP.
A group of parents angry over the school district's handling of
mold contamination at two schools are campaigning to recall two
board members they say ignored the problem.
Washington Township Parents Who Care began the process this
week, collecting 930 signatures on a petition to recall Eileen
Abbott and Carol Saghirian.
The group has 160 days to get the signatures of 25 percent of
township voters registered in the last general election, or
roughly 7,400 people.
However, the group may not have the legal standing to carry out
the recall process.
By law, a recall process cannot be started before the 50th day
of the first year of an elected official's term. Abbott and
Saghirian were sworn in May 6. Abbott is a former board president
who won re-election in April. Saghirian, who is filling an
unexpired seat, previously served on the board from 1998 to 2003.
The law also prohibits committees from trying to recall more
than one officeholder at a time. Still, the group is pressing
forward to make its point.
"I only want a safe school for my son to attend," said Bonnie
Tuttle, whose son Jordan, 12, has been home tutored since March.
Jordan's asthma and allergies were aggravated by the mold at
Orchard Valley Middle School, Tuttle said.
Dozens of students and staff members at Orchard Valley and
Chestnut Ridge middle schools have complained of health problems
attributed to mold. Since March, 28 students have been moved from
the middle schools to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School so they
wouldn't have to be on home instruction, said Superintendent
In August, the district's engineering firm determined that
classroom ventilators were not properly extracting humidity from
the air, creating a breeding ground for mold.
An examination of the ventilators found mold inside their
insulation and in the heating and air conditioning systems'
ductwork. The mold was primarily cladosporium, the most common
type of mold. Tests also found low levels of aspergillus mold,
which can cause nasal and lung diseases in people with impaired
In a letter notifying the district of the recall, the parents'
group contends Abbott and Saghirian were among board members "who
have demonstrated their apathetic and irresponsible views on these
issues for years."
After a special board meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the
recall, Abbott said she's always done her job as a board member.
"We brought professionals in, they told us what to do, we did
it," she said.
Industrial-sized dehumidifiers have been placed inside
classrooms at the two schools and the humidity level is being
monitored, Flemming said.
Over the summer, the two buildings, along with their heating
and cooling systems, will be sanitized. The district is still
considering whether to replace the systems, which could cost as
much as $5 million.
Dr. Howard M. Sandler, a consultant hired by the district, told
the board Thursday that the mold levels at the two schools are not
a health hazard.
Dampness caused by the high humidity in the buildings is
contributing to the problems suffered by those with allergies and
asthma, he said.
"There's no long-term threat to the students or faculty at
these schools," he said.