Mold in Dorm Rooms is a Threat to Student Health
Mold in dorm rooms is a serious threat to student health. This fact was recently brought to the forefront when students in Ohio University found black mold in their dorm room this past January. The mold had grown behind a desk, only discovered when looking for a set of keys. When the desk was pulled back, the mold was said to be “everywhere”.
There’s no telling how long the mold had been growing behind the desk, which means there’s no telling how long the students in the dorm room had been breathing in air contaminated with mold spores. By the time the students discovered the mold growth they may have already been afflicted with mold poisoning.
Ohio University says the dorm rooms are checked by facilities management as part of the cleaning process that takes place once students move out of the rooms at the end of the school year. In addition to the routine cleaning, each room is also inspected once more at least two weeks prior to the new move-in day.
When the executive director of Housing and Residence was reached out to for comment, he claims to be unaware of a significant mold problem in residence halls on campus. The problem with the particular dorm room that’s making the news is that it sits right above the heat in the building. The students say it caused the windows to fog all the time, leaving them perpetually soaked with condensation.
An abundance of moisture in the room is one issue that could have made the mold worse for that particular dorm room. There’s no doubt some poor architectural planning was at play there, but this should still serve as a cautionary tale. There’s only so much a facilities management team can do to keep a dorm room free of mold. After the move-in date, some of the onus is on the student.
Preventing Mold in Dorm Rooms
If mold is found in a dorm room, it will be the school’s responsibility to address the issue. Ideally you want to prevent mold from occurring in the first place so that it doesn’t become a health hazard for you and your dorm mates.
Mold in dorm rooms can occur when there’s just the right combination of moisture, food, and spores. In particular, moisture is the one component that can be controlled in order to avoid creating an ideal environment for mold growth. In this particular instance, if the students found there was regularly a abundance of moisture in and around their windows, getting a dehumidifier could have helped absolve the issue. Another option would be to bring it to the attention of facilities management earlier before the mold growth got out of control. Of course, since food and moisture are the two things mold thrives on, another best practice to prevent mold in dorm rooms is to keep your room clean and free of leftover food.
Another way to prevent mold is to be regularly testing for it. Think you might have a mold problem? You can do your own checking for mold. If you think you might have mold in your dorm room, try our mold testing kit to see for yourself.
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