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Update on Lancaster school's mold problems

Black mold like this example is highly toxic to anyone dwelling or working (including students) in buildings where it is found.
Chuck Marean/Wikimedia Commons

In a recent Examiner article (see http://www.examiner.com/article/lancaster-school-found-to-have-serious-mold-problem) the subject of a serious mold infestation in Sunnydale Elementary School in Lancaster was outlined. Aside from a local radio station, KFI-AM, little attention has been paid to this predicament by the Los Angeles area media. Parents of children who are being made ill by the fungus are doing what they can to combat the whitewashing by local school authorities but they are getting little support from anywhere. The Public Health Department is absolutely not helping the matter by their lack of willingness, it appears, to deal effectively with the ongoing issue.

One individual, Ms. Karaleigh Roe, the school’s PTA President, is fighting the battle to downplay and even, apparently, silence any objections being voiced against the mold. The school board and other agencies who, one would think, ought to be on the side of the children’s health and safety, want to ignore the dangers of this contamination by pretending there is no problem at all. In the following excerpt of her correspondence with the Public Health Department, it is obvious to those observing that something definitely wrong is being done. The communications occurred on May 28, following an inspection that took place on May 27:

They went into every classroom, the library and the cafeteria.
Man with accent(#1): Many of the issues found at the school are things that we see at many schools.
Man without accent(#2): This by no means though, is a school in great condition.

M#2: We are recommending that the school district hire an HVAC engineer to do air rate/flow, C02 checks on all of the units. Some of the older units' filters do not sit securely and have a gap, this is the way they were designed. We didn't do co2 checks because when we were there all the rooms were full of students.

me: "isn't that when co2 tests SHOULD be done?"

M#2: Our conclusion is that we are 99% sure the air flow is acceptable because the room did not have any unusual smells.
M#1: What allot of people don't understand is that regulations relating to air flow in these types of environments are only for comfort, these regulations were enacted to reduce the smells of body odor and not for health.
M#2: We are also suggesting that the school district make sure the dampers are open. Many of the air units had the dampers closed, blocking the flow of fresh air intake.

"....blocking fresh air, would recirculate the room air, containing the co2 levels in the room, is that accurate?"

M#1: We don't believe there are any problems with the circulation of air. We used a temperature reading to determine that the air was reaching the whole area.
M#2 We also had a thermal camera, where you can see the colder air and the warmer air. This was to see if there were any leaks, or air coming in from areas where it shouldn't. I don't think we found any areas of concern in relation to that. Did we?
M#1 no we didn't.
M#2 We found several areas with mold, the building of room 33 has severe water intrusion, the foundation is rotting. We believe the source of water is from under the building. Our recommendation to them is to not use the room until repairs have been made.
M#1 These issues are fairly common at many schools

This is a small sample of the responses Ms. Roe received from inspectors whose duty involves keeping tabs on buildings’ sanitation conditions in order to maintain public health of school children and other citizens. Another article will follow to demonstrate even more how absolutely unprofessional these professionals have acted.