Mold found growing at four Ocean County schools
Two Brick schools, as well as elementary buildings in Stafford and Lakehurst, are being cleaned and repeated tests are being run after mold was found recently.
Lower levels of mold spores were found at Emma Havens Elementary school in Brick while six classrooms had to be scrubbed at Lake Riviera Middle School due to surface mold growth, according to letters from District Superintendent Gerard Dalton addressed to parents and guardians.
"As we continued to prepare Lake Riviera Middle School for the return of students and staff, our custodial staff discovered six classrooms, in one section of the building that appeared to have developed surface mold growth," Dalton said. "The most probable cause was the high humidity we experienced during the last weeks of August."
Dalton said the high humidity was likely the culprit at Emma Havens Elementary School as well.
"It has been concluded the extreme environmental conditions, which include heavy rains and increased humidity levels contributed to the recent concerns at Emma Havens Young Elementary School," Dalton said." As previously reported, Monday, August 20th our custodial staff discovered seven classrooms, in one section of the building appeared to have developed surface mold growth."
He said there also running tests in classrooms and other areas throughout the building that have not tested positive for mold, but they're just being cautious.
They're also working with a Dr. Lynch at Environmental Management Safety Corporation to conduct air and surface cleaning of the impacted areas in Brick Schools.
Additional testing results should be out later today.
Here are some of the steps Brick Schools are taking to address the issue:
- Shrubs and soil from the impacted area of the building have been removed.
- Insurance Restoration Specialists has installed HEPA filtered air scrubbers in all impacted areas.
- Professional Cleaning and HEPA vacuuming is being conducted in impacted areas.
- All unit ventilators in all classrooms throughout the building are being re-cleaned.
- Follow-up testing will be conducted.
Meanwhile, McKinley Avenue School in Stafford and Lakehurst Elementary School (in Lakehurst) were also affected, according to NJ Advance Media.
Lakehurst officials were mum on their district page regarding the issue saying, "The school building is currently closed. There will be a Board of Education meeting at the Lakehurst Community Center on August 29 at 6:30 PM. The Board Office is open."
They also add that they're working with TTI Environmentalists to determine the necessary steps.
TTI professionals are conducting tests in Lakehurst.
Mold cleanup and testing are being conducted at all four of these schools with time ticking before classes are set to begin next week.
"Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all," according to the CDC. "Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold."
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