Tag Archives for " mold "

Students at risk from lead, asbestos and mold in School District buildings


New reports indicate that Philadelphia school children are regularly exposed to far higher levels of environmental contaminants than is considered healthy. Lead paint, well-known as a potential cause of brain damage in children, was found in many schools, according to a recent investigation by the Philadelphia Inquirer, along with other hazards like asbestos and mold.

“With these kinds of exposures, to lead, mold, asbestos, the effects are insidious, they are cumulative, and they often don’t show up for a while, and they can be subtle,” said Jerry Roseman, director of environmental science at the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. “A child with lead poisoning might look like he has ADD and some other kind of thing, and you might never know. The asbestos hazard would take many years to show up, not until after the kid would be out of school.”

 They also reported on the case of Dean Pagan, a 6-year-old at Comly Elementary who reportedly ate lead paint that crumbled off a ceiling onto his school desk in a classroom the District knew had peeling lead paint. He was later hospitalized for severe lead poisoning nine times above the level that can cause permanent, lead-related brain damage. (The child is still being monitored to determine the full extent of damages.)

“That student was completely unknown to us until a teacher saw the child eating paint chips, got in touch with school counselors, a nurse, parents and he was tested,” Roseman said. “You could have many, many children in that situation and you wouldn’t know.”

Superintendent Dr. William Hite authored an op-ed in the Inquirer responding to the article, saying that the District has $4.5 billion worth of needed repairs, citing their efforts to clean up and remove water systems with lead pipes, and calling for “an all-hands-on-deck effort from every neighborhood in this city” to repair aging schools.

But that rang hollow to PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur, who worked with Roseman to bring more attention to school environmental hazards.

“We’ve argued that they’re not prioritizing where they spend money correctly,” Masur said. “Lead is unsafe at any level, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the EPA say that — it’s very clear. So you start there.”

Despite Hite’s promises, Masur and Roseman said the public and parents need to call on leaders to ensure schools are cleaned up. There is no law currently banning lead paint in schools.

Article Source: https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/students-risk-lead-asbestos-and-mold-school-district-buildings

Costly mold invades Fort Meade’s municipal buildings after Irma

Hurricane Irma is long gone, but her effects are still being felt, at least in Fort Meade. Mold is growing in three of the city’s most important buildings: City Hall, the fire department, and the old police station, now being rented by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Mold can cause you to get nauseated, your eyes to water, and even lead to asthma.

City officials first got a hint something was up when they saw something black growing on a large picture that hangs in the city commission chambers. It turned out to be mold.

“We had it tested, and it did test positive,” city finance director Breyeanna Smith told FOX 13.

Commissioners now meet in the recreation center of a mobile home park nearby.

 The volunteer firefighters at the Fort Meade Fire Department got booted out of the station because mold is growing there as well.

“I don’t want any of my firefighters to be sick,” Chief Harrison Eiland said. So they are meeting in the bays where they garage the trucks.  There is a sign on the station door to keep out.

Just down the street, the receptionist at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office substation no longer sits at her desk. That’s because mold was found there and in a sergeant’s office.

To get rid of the mold and fix other damage caused by Irma, the city is looking at $700,000 or more. City officials are hoping that insurance and FEMA picks up the brunt of that.

However, they suspect that they may still get stuck with a bill for several hundred thousand dollars which could take more than a decade to pay off.