Michigan seems to be the Environmental epicenter in 2016 so far. First it was high levels of toxic Lead in the City of Flint, MI drinking water. Now another four letter word is impacting the state of Michigan. Mold in Detroit schools has made the headlines. The city of Detroit performed inspections of 11 public schools as part of a district-wide review in response to mass teacher sick-outs. The inspections by the city revealed widespread code violations, including multiple instances of rodents, mold in schools, damaged roofs, and broken glass. Citations included a water-damaged ceiling, a broken sink in a boys bathroom and mold/mildew in two classrooms.
“I don’t want there to be any confusion,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “A claim of a shortage of funds is not a defense to violations of building or health codes for any building owner. We’re not going to allow our children, DPS employees, or the public to continue to be subjected to substandard conditions.”
So how common is mold in schools? The Answer is, very. Within only a few minutes of google searching, it becomes quite clear that mold in schools is a national and constant problem. It affects all forms of school districts, and ages of school facilities. Whether we like it or not, just like peanut butter, bee stings, and gluten; if your body is allergic to a particular mold species, it will affect you. With these being found in your schools, your child, teacher or (as the mayor above stated) even the Department of Public Services (DPS) employees, should not be subject to substandard conditions, or be asked to work in an environment that is physically uncomfortable and potentially toxic.
If you read through some of the articles in the links below, you will recognize that under no circumstance is mold in schools a good thing, other than maybe growing some in a petri dish for science class. In the article: Mold Closes Several NJ Schools, it explains how extreme weather conditions are believed to be to blame for a growing mold problem at South Jersey schools.
Are schools making kids sick? A third-grader in Winsted, Connecticut, Matthew Asselin was sick — a lot. He was lethargic and plagued with a persistent wet cough, respiratory infections and painful headaches. “When we put him back in school this year, within three weeks, he missed 10 days with a respiratory infection,” Melissa Asselin said. That’s when Matthew’s mother had an a-ha moment. “When he was out of school, he was well. When he was in school, he became ill,” Asselin said. Matthew’s parents concluded that the 9-year-old’s school, Hinsdale Elementary, was making their son sick. After further investigation, it appears what was making Matthew suffer was the Mold in school. (CNN)
Researchers and others who follow the issue, say school air problems have probably been exacerbated in recent years by funding cutbacks. This has resulted in less money for building upkeep, maintenance, and more energy efficient sealed building envelopes which tend to trap more moisture. This might point to why mold seems to be on the rise. As of recently, numerous links to articles about this issue have begun to pop up across the country, some as recent as February 8th, 2016.
(Rockaway, NY) Parents up in arms after mold found at P.S./M.S. 114 in Rockaway. Parents at a Sandy-battered school in the Rockaways were up in arms after learning mold was discovered in a building that city officials had assured them was safe. “Were just very very concerned, “said parent teacher association co-president Irene Dougherty. “I’d like to think when I send my child to school, my child is safe.” (NY Daily News)
(New Orleans, LA) All eight Trinity-Klamath schools closed due to mold. According to a document sent by Superintendent Jon Ray; mold was found in the cafeteria and kitchen of Jack Norton Elementary School, the cafeteria, kitchen, main office, library and boiler room of Orleans Elementary School, 10 classrooms and the boiler room of Hoopa Valley Elementary School, the cafeteria, kitchen, main office, administrative office and three classrooms of Hoopa Valley High School and the cafeteria, kitchen, main office, administrative office and three classrooms of Trinity Valley Elementary School. (Times-Standard)
(Midland, IL) Lead, mold found in Lacon school. Emergency board meeting will be Saturday The Midland School Board will hold an emergency meeting at 5 p.m. Saturday to discuss “a possible environmental problem at Midland Elementary School and consider a plan of action.” . Lacon had two “four letter words” to be concerned about, lead & mold in schools. (PJStar)
Mold in schools is not new, but as many of the articles and most recent findings seem to suggest that it may be on the rise, and thankfully so is the awareness of parents, teachers, occupants, and beyond. Mold is a concern, so much so, that EPA has available on their website a document entitled:
Mold In Schools and Commercial Buildings.(EPA) This document is broken down into three sections:
In summary, mold in schools is a real concern for several reasons, and the best suggestion is that you shouldn’t wait until someone holds you accountable or puts your family at risk. Be pro-active and determine if your school has mold. You can find out with a very simple to use cost effective Do-It-Yourself, Certified, legally defensible, all inclusive pre-paid laboratory analysis sampling kit. It is same as the professional environmental hygienist and others use daily, only available at www.certifiedkit.com.
Don’t guess, and don’t wait, because if you guess wrong or wait too long, the consequences can be substantial.
Tags: air quality in schools, flint, flint lead, flint michigan, flint mold, Indoor Air Quality, lead in schools, Mold, mold in homes, mold in schools