Why Is My Child Coughing from the First Week in School; Are We Aware of Mold in Schools???
Many students expected to go to school on Aug 27th in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and instead of diving in to new semester curriculum, they got an impromptu lesson on the danger of fungi. As a result, schools were postponed the first day of the semester after discovering mold and other microbes in their classroom.
It is a recurring problem made rainy, muggy summer things worse. Essentially, South Florida is in to that season, as we know it is called hurricane season. Are we addressing the right approach to protect our children in schools?
Moisture intrusion, and as a result mold growth are source of major indoor air quality problems in non-industrial buildings and schools. Defining a mold problem, finding a cure, can be frustrating and confusing process for School Districts. Too often schools receive clearance mold certifications; however, the staff and students could be still affected with unseen epidemic. Despite the confusion, there are proven methods fixing the problem; essentially, investigating the problem takes some extra steps, techniques, and technological elements.
Students and teachers spend large portion of their times in schools. The process of investigating the problem can start with classroom airborne mold spore collection over at least two days in various times of the day, and two times a year. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, MD., is a strong believer in dust sampling using the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). He states that Microbial Volatile Organic Compound (MVOC) sampling when molds are wet and have food they grow. He also deduces that, when mold is “eating” it produces metabolic byproduct gases known as MVOCs. He has a few types of air sampling technics. Air samples can either be collected in a summa canister or sorbent tube, and the lab analyzes the air sample for a limited set of microbial VOCs. MVOC indicator gases include but are not limited to the following: Furan, 1- and 2-Pentanol, 2-Hexanone, 2-Heptanone, 1- and 3-Octanol, and Geosmin. If you smell “musty” odors you are probably inhaling MVOCs. It’s a sign of active microbial growth and can be tested via air sampling. Extrapolating the air sampling techniques will always expend the results surety.
Mold issues start always beginning of the school year, when the air conditioners are started to turn on after long summer, and hitting hot and moist surface. The cold air starts creating condensation, and where mold bio particles starts growing in the air. With wood and paper in the schools will be a filet mignon meal for mold to start growing rapidly.
The venting system is very important to stop the microorganisms to be grown. Prevention systems besides air samplings, Mr. Marty Katz, Environmentalist with Miami Mold Specialist, highly recommends push and pull airflows will circulate the indoor air rapidly, and clean the indoor air from VOCs to stop growing the mold.
Children with asthma or mold allergies could experience coughing or difficulty breathing around mold or mildew, said by many medical doctors. Mr. Katz, states that it is prudent implementing prevention levels to stop mold growing in schools, and if it exists, Miami Mold Specialist has cutting edge technology to revert the moldy environment with clearance certifications.
In addition, the developing bodies of children might be more susceptible to environmental exposures than those of adults, as per EPA.gov, United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA also reiterates that children breathe more air, eat more food and drink more liquid in proportion to their body weight than adults. Therefore, air quality in schools is of particular concern. Proper maintenance of indoor air is more than a “quality” issue; it encompasses safety and stewardship of your investment in students, staff and facilities.
About Miami Mold Specialists-
South Florida’s Premier Indoor Air Quality and Mold Removal Service Provider- Miami Mold Specialist: High Tech and Eco-Friendly Indoor Air Quality, Mold Assessments, 3rd Party “Conflict Free” Mold Testing, Mold Removal and Remediation, Mold Prevention, Radon Testing, Water Testing, Water Purification Services by Miami Mold Specialist. Multi State Certified, Licensed, Bonded, and Insured. Over 30 Years Experience!