Mold found in even more NJ schools after wet summer
TRENTON — With a break in the summer humidity, school officials across New Jersey may finally get an upper hand on dealing with mold.
Several schools reported isolated cases of mold as classes started this week while others continued clean-up operations that started in August.
Parents from the McKinley School in Stafford in Ocean County met with schools Superintendent George Chidiac on Wednesday after remediation of the mold was not completed in time for the start of school earlier in the day. Students are temporarily attending class at the Intermediate School.
Chidiac told parents that mold was found in August on the ceiling of 28 classrooms and on certain items, which were thrown out, according to Jersey Shore Online.
Mold was also found on Wednesday in the fabric seats of the Richard Marasco Auditorium of Monroe Township Middle School, according to a letter from Acting Superintendent Robert Goodall. A professional remediation contractor will be brought into the Middlesex County school to clean the auditorium, which will be off-limits in the meantime.
The art room at Dumont High School was also found with "unacceptable levels of mold" in the forms of spots on furniture, Superintendent Emanuele Triggiano told NJ.com.
The presence of mold spores can also bring on allergic reactions and asthma attacks, according to the EPA. It can also irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throats and lungs of even people who are not allergic.
It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores. Mold growth only can be controlled indoors by limiting moisture. Many of the affected schools have brought in dehumidifiers to help reduce moisture.
An update on other instances of mold around the state:
- Mold was discovered at the Copper Hill Elementary School, Francis A. Desmares School and the J.P. Case Middle School
- Remediation is still underway at the Desmares school. Cooper Hill and Case have been cleared to open.
- The start of school was delayed until Tuesday, September 11.
- The school will use two snow days for the cancellation of classes on Sept. 6 and 7. Monday, September 10, already was scheduled off for Rosh Hashanah.
- The start of classes was delayed for all schools after mold was discovered this week at the Hudson Maxim and Tulsa Trail Elementary schools. All rooms are being tested and cleaned. Schools will open on Monday, September 10
- Lakehurst Elementary School students will start the school year at St. John's Church and in schools in neighboring Manchester. It's not clear how long the school, which is the only one one in the district, will remain closed.
- Mold delayed the start of school by a week at the Jonas Salk Middle School, the district told the Patch.
- The start of school for Bayberry Elementary School was delayed after a section was found to have a musty smell, according to a message from Interim Superintendent Stephanie Bilenker. Testing found 15 classrooms to have high levels. The rooms will have to test positive before they can be used. Bilenker anticipates school starting September 11.
- Fungus was found in three classrooms and one closet at the White Township School and are being treated but will not delay the start of classes, according to chief school administrator William Thompson. Two additional rooms were also found to have mold. Two rooms and the closet have been cleaned but test results indicate more cleanup is needed.