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Schools are plagued by toxic mold growth, yet testing isn’t being performed

It is unusual for the superintendent of a school to ask a reporter to investigate his school district, but that’s exactly what Jamie Green, the superintendent of Trinity Alps School District. He was so desperate to protect the welfare of the students who attend the schools within the district that he went to a local news station to ask for help.

When hidden toxic mold was discovered in the Trinity Alps School District, Green realized that there was a serious problem and understood how dangerous invisible mold spores can be.

As it turns out, mold testing isn’t required in schools. There also aren’t any regulations regarding indoor air quality to protect children while they’re in school.

Now, the Trinity County Department of Public Health, intends on establishing the first mold safety threshold for schools in the nation. Superintendent Green is asking lawmakers to protect the safety of students throughout California.

Alyssa Keys and her son were new to Weaverville, an elementary school in the Trinity Alps School District. “I had an upper respiratory infection last year, my son had pneumonia, we had respiratory issues throughout the classroom for three full months,” Keys, a preschool teacher whose students call her Miss Aly, said. “I was the sickest I’d ever been.”

Chyann Giddings’ son, who was also a new student to the school, suffered from constant headaches and respiratory issues. “We actually had an attendance meeting because he was out of school a lot sick,” she said.

Hannah Parkenson’s two older daughters were also students of the Trinity Alps School District. She said that they both suffered from chronic bronchitis and migraines for years while they were on campus. Parkenson just thought that the issues her daughters were experiencing were common ailments that children suffer from. Everything changed when hidden mold was discovered

Superintendent Jamie Green was just as stunned as the parents when he learned that there was toxic mold growing in the district’s schools.

“Until you test for it, until you look for it, you just don’t know,” Green said.

When someone noticed a patch of mold growing in one of the school cafeterias, the decision to hire an Industrial Hygienist was made. The professional tested all of the schools for airborne mold spores.

“It was very high, the highest I’ve seen,” said the Trinity County Director of Environmental Health, Kristalynne Anderson. “And this is not our first set of schools to have a mold issu.”

As soon as the results were in, Anderson quarantined the buildings on both campuses of the district. The mold tests found that spore counts ranged between a few hundred spores/m3 to hundreds of thousands of spores/m3. Given the results, they decided to start looking for hidden mold and were shocked to find that it was hiding in inconspicuous locations, including underneath the carpets, behind the walls, and in the ceilings.

Mold Inspection & Testing Sacramento has vast experience performing mold tests in buildings throughout the city. We strongly recommend that the Trinity Oaks School District arrange for regular mold assessments to continue to monitor the conditions and ensure the safety of everyone on their campuses. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 916.905.5391.

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