Domestic carpet cleaning can minimize health issues and this was proven at Jordan Elementary School. Air quality concerns were raised in November by the staff and this prompted the school district to start testing the classrooms.
A local television station claimed that mold infestation at Jordan Elementary School last November was the main reason why a first grade student is in the hospital. Two other students and two teachers have also left the school because of air quality concerns.
According to a test results from Institute of Environmental Assessment (IEA) the highest ranked organisms were Penicillium species that are associated with moisture-impacted building materials. The results mean that there is a source for the detected spores and sample from the base of a cabinet in Room 69 confirmed the presence of low levels of Cladosporium, a common outdoor organism and Trichoderma that is typically associated with growth on moisture-impacted buildings.
Tests in Room 81 revealed a low level of culturable airborne fungi which were compared with outdoor samples. Composite carpet dust samples and the fungal counts were associated with migration from the outdoors which is a normal condition.
As a result of the inspections, IEA suggested to following measures:
- The horizontal spaces in Room 69 should be cleaned of the settled fungal spores. Fungal growth must be removed from base of a bookshelf through bleach solution that can be wet wiped on the hard surface. Domestic carpet cleaning must be done using steam (hot water) extraction according to the guidelines of IEA.
- The HVAC system must be inspected including ductwork and the VAV box of Room 69 to check whether there is fungal growth due to moisture.
- Wall cavities are also potential sources of elevated levels of fungal growth and they must be inspected immediately.
- Conduct follow up fungal samplings in Room 69 and comparison areas that are being served by the HVAC system.
After the November results, the district took all the necessary steps to discover sources of elevated levels of airborne fungus and monthly fungal samplings were conducted. This is to ensure that the school environment is safe to protect the health of teachers, students and staff.