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Monday, October 31, 2011

Mold Forces Kids Out of School

St. Mary’s College recently announced that 350 students were moved out of their dormitory and into temporary housing. The move impacts students that are housed in the Prince George and Caroline residence halls. The Maryland College took the steps due to ongoing mold problems in the student housing following heavy summer rains.

Earlier in October, it was reported that at least 40 students from the University of Delaware were forced to leave their dorm rooms also due to mold issues. In addition to these places of higher education, a number of elementary through high schools across the region have also had to deal with mold problems this school year.

Mold spores can be found virtually everywhere. All it takes is moisture, which can be in the form of flooding, broken pipes, leaking roofs and windows or even just elevated humidity levels for mold to begin to grow. People who come in contact with elevated levels of mold may suffer allergies, asthma attacks and even possible infections in some cases.

Many school administrators report that Hurricane Irene, along with a damp wet period that followed the historic hurricane, made conditions ideal for mold growth in structures that suffered water damage. “When conditions are right, mold can begin growing indoors in as quick as 24 hours,” reported Susan White, Ph.D., CMC. Dr. White is the President of SussexEnvironmental Health Consultants (SEHC), a leading mold and IAQ consulting firm. “Not only have schools with tight maintenance budgets been forced to tackle mold issues head on, but everything from single family residences to commercial structures are now dealing with this issue,” she continued.

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