According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC),"as many as 1,000 species of mold have been found in our homes", states Clark. "Mold spores come into buildings on the air or attached to clothing and there is nothing any of us can do to prevent that. But, what we can do is deny mold what it needs to grow and become dangerous - moisture, and we are experts at keeping out moisture!"
When mold grows out of control in a classroom and school environment, it releases spores which are breathed in by all children. According to Ruth Etzel, M.D., former Chairwoman of the Committee on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Children are more susceptible to mold-related illness than adults, because their lungs and other organs are still developing."
The problem of mold in school buildings is not a new concern. According to a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report, 20 percent of the country's 80,000 public schools have indoor air quality problems. According to the report, "Microbiological contaminants - particularly molds - account for half of indoor air health complaints. That means as many as 7,500 public schools have indoor air problems related to mold." There is no way of really knowing how many more schools have undiscovered mold problems.
What is known is that mold in schools makes children very sick. Exposure to mold produces diverse symptoms - fatigue, eye irritation, respiratory problems, nausea, headaches - and can lead to more severe illnesses like Asthma, Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome with an abrupt onset of fever, flu-like symptoms, and respiratory symptoms - and pulmonary hemorrhages and hemosiderosis - bleeding of the lungs.
Schools can be built to keep moisture from entering or collecting in the building, thus denying mold the food it needs to grow and replicate. Using the Best Practices, we've collected every new school being built and those being renovated will be healthy schools.