As we approach the beginning of a new school year, it is important to consider ways to keep schools healthy places for our children. When they leave our homes, we need to know that they are spending their time in safe and clean spaces during the day. Addressing that concern, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified specific problems that we need to resolve in “Kids Learn Best in Healthy Environments.”
According to this report, “53 million children and 6 million adults in the U.S. spend a significant portion of their days in more than 120,000 public and private school buildings. Many of these buildings are old, in poor condition, and may contain environmental conditions that pose increased risks to the health of children and staff. Reducing exposures to environmental hazards in schools can help children’s health. Healthier school environments enable children to learn and produce more in the classroom which can improve their performance and achievements later in life.”
Related Health Problems and Sources of Mold
In addition, this report notes that individual school districts needed to deal with serious issues such mold and mildew. Potential health problems may result including irritation of the following:
Molds can produce allergens that trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in children and others who are allergic to mold. Some molds are known to produce powerful toxins and/or irritants. They can be discovered on any surface and multiply in the presence of moisture and oxygen. Molds can grow on the following:
“Kids Learn Best in Healthy Environments” stresses that “The presence of moisture within school and building structures stimulates the growth of molds and other biological contaminants. The key to mold control is moisture control.” Moisture and uncontrolled humidity problems may include:
- Roof leaks
- Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the school building
- Unvented combustion appliances
In addition, moisture in school environments can invite mites, roaches and rodents, which are associated with asthma and other diseases. If the thought of those additional problems made you cringe, here are some suggestions from the EPA for preventing moisture and condensation problems from turning into serious mold issues.
Steps to Prevent Mold and Control Moisture
- Maintain indoor humidity levels below 60%, ideally between 30% and 50% when possible.
- Clean and dry any wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Fix leaky plumbing and roof leaks in the school as soon as possible.
- Check regularly for condensation and wet spots.
- Address sources of moisture problems as soon as possible.
- Scrub mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/mold and www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pdfs/publications/ moldfactsheet.pdf.
More Information About Mold Remediation in Rogers, AR
Have you already discovered a serious mold problem in your school or other facility? Do you need immediate, effective and affordable mold remediation? Contact NWA Restore It, Inc. to schedule an appointment now.