Mold in Schools

Mold is a common occurrence in school buildings. Lots of indoor plumbing, tight construction, and poor ventilation contribute to mold amplification issues. A 2005 study by Jim Burkhart, Ph.D. shows that children's asthma risks more than double if their surroundings smell of mold. If any parent, teacher, or administrator suspects a problem I recommend the schoolmoldhelp website.

Recently, an elementary school in Greensboro, NC decided to temporarily close its doors this fall.
"The teachers and parents who filled the Oak Ridge gym reported a litany of medical symptoms, including severe respiratory problems, nose and eye bleeds, headaches, sleeplessness, burning throats and severe attention problems among students. Teachers said the performance of students on tests has plummeted."

The school has a history of mold. It was completely renovated in 2005, and 3 months before the re-opening mold was discovered. It became an issue again in May of this year.

Two weeks ago a federal team of investigators stepped in.

The team found:

*A musty, mold smell in the building and its basement and crawl space.
* Improperly installed hardware that may allow water to penetrate the building.
* Air pressure and air flow problems along with several other maintenance concerns.

Recent update on the Oak Ridge Elementary School story

Part of the controversy surrounds the health implications of mold. The medical director for the county health department has said that mold only causes health problems for those who are immune compromised and those with mold allergies.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health epidemiologist Jean Cox-Ganser (part of the team investigating Oak Ridge) has responded by saying, "NIOSH does believe that mold can cause health problems – and it's not NIOSH, it's proven in the literature."

One day there will be no such controversy. It will be common knowledge. It's sure common knowledge at our house.