Air Quality Tests Reveal Dusty Conditions in Classrooms

Even without the presence of mold, air quality tests may still reveal dusty conditions that can be hazardous to your health.

While mold testing at several Manchester Elementary School in Maine did not indicate the presence of mold, air quality tests showed high levels of dust in several classrooms. The stage area was closed immediately, to be reopened after the problem is remediated and cleaned.

“If (Air Quality Management) thinks something needs to be done immediately, we’ll do it,” Superintendent Donna Wolfrom told the Morning Sentinel.

The school underwent mold testing following parent and community complaints that the district wasn’t doing enough to combat the mold.

The report indicated “no significant evidence of mold exposure of concern or atypical mold levels for each location sampled.”

Four classrooms were determined to be dusty.  The stage area was closed as a proactive move “err on the side of most caution,” Randy Geoffroy, owner of the Gray-based Air Quality Management, told the Morning Sentinel.

Anxious Parents Await Results

“I am anxiously awaiting the results from Monday’s testing and am hopeful they will show no areas of concern,” Jeremy Payne, a parent and outspoken critic of the district’s handling of the problem, told the Morning Sentinel. “I’m also relieved we will finally determine the school’s safety and the well-being of students, teachers and staff.”

Mold’s Potential Health Risks

The EPA points out that allergic reactions to mold are quite common. Sometimes these symptoms can be immediate. In other cases, they are delayed. “Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds,” the EPA warns.

According to the EPA, adverse reactions to mold include:

“Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.”

If mold testing reveals the presence of mold, a professional mold removal is pertinent to ensure the health of all occupants.