Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE – Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Students in many parts of the country have already been in class for weeks, while others start the new school year after Labor Day. Regardless of when students begin school, the indoor environmental quality of their classrooms and other facilities is an essential component for their well-being and ability to learn.

Some schools have been forced to delay the start of the school year due to mold.This was the case at Tri-Valley Elementary School in Illinois. Others have had to close specific classrooms for remediation as occurred in Colton, California. These are just a few examples out of dozens that have already taken place in just the last month.

Mold can occur in any school that has suffered water damage or has been exposed to elevated humidity levels. With the right conditions, mold can begin to grow in less than 48 hours. Mold is a known allergen, irritant, asthma trigger, and in some cases, can produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins.

Allergic reactions to mold are quite common and can be immediate or delayed. Exposure to mold, mold spores or mold fragments may cause non-sensitive individuals to become sensitive to mold, and repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity. As an irritant, mold can aggravate people’s eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of individuals whether or not they are allergic to mold.

Breathing mold may also cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a disease that resembles bacterial pneumonia. In addition, exposure to certain types of mold, such as aspergillus may result in opportunistic infections in students or faculty that have a weakened or suppressed immune systems are.

The beginning of the school year is when many mold problems come to light,” said Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark. “Students and teachers who were out of the classroom for months return and begin showing symptoms. If the problem is not identified and the underlying cause isn’t resolved, the situation will only progress.”