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Mold in Schools Is Growing Problem across Southeast

As ABSS works to clean up mold in their buildings, a national expert says "mold is everywhere"

BURLINGTON, N.C. — “It’s been a hot issue. People can get severely ill. In fact disabled,” said Claire Barnett with the national Healthy Schools Network.

As Alamance Burlington School System had to push the start of classes until September 5 for mold cleanup, Barnett talked with WFMY News 2’s Ben Briscoe. Barnett says there’s been concern over mold in schools for decades now.

Briscoe: How big of an issue is mold in schools?

Barnett: Hard to tell. Nobody tracks it. But the short answer is that with increasing global warming, everybody is warmer and wetter. Molds are naturally occurring. They love places that are warm and wet. The short answer is probably everybody has more mold inside than they would like to have.

Briscoe: Why is it not something that is tracked?

Barnett: There are thousands and thousands of different types of mold, and no one has ever tried to establish a safe level or an exposure level. So I think it would be difficult to do that.

Briscoe. What makes mold concerning particularly in schools?

Barnett: Children breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults do. They eat more food. Drink more water. And they are still developing. So their bodies might not be ready to handle a particular exposure. If there are parents concerned about mold contamination in schools, they should also be concerned about it in their own homes or in their own apartments. Mold is everywhere.


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