Orlando, FL. - December 30, 2014 – In the last decade there are questions and concerns of how Florida’s school districts are dealing with mold issues as they become known. For example, in 2003, a grand jury blasted the Broward County school system for taking too long to get rid of mold in classrooms and failing to repair leaky roofs and faulty air conditioners. The panel outlined its concerns in their report and strongly recommended changes the State of Florida needed to make to force school districts to improve air quality in schools, while underscoring that children were especially vulnerable to the potentially harmful effects of mold spores. Unfortunately, South Florida lawmakers who introduced bills in 2004 went nowhere, as it was pointed out Florida would be setting itself up for lawsuits if progress reports addressing mold and air quality problems were made public.
Exposure to Mold
Runny noses, itchy eyes, headaches and respiratory distress are all symptoms when exposed to mold in schools. The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Alternaria. Florida has thousands of schools, coupled with our wet and humid climate, it’s only natural mold can cause problems in our schools. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, or where there has been flooding, mold will grow. Roof leaks, lack of maintenance and damage by hurricanes or strong storms in Florida have contributed to even more instances of mold in our schools.
Since mold is present everywhere, and humans are exposed to mold every moment of their lives, the effects of mold on an individual will vary greatly depending on their personal health. Respiratory conditions such as asthma, susceptibility to allergens, immune system deficiencies, etc., are all factors that will impact the effects of mold on a given individual. Generally, toxic reactions to mold are not common in healthy individuals. The most common symptoms reported from mold in indoor environments are runny nose, eye irritation, cough and congestion, aggravation of asthma, headache, and fatigue. The production of potentially toxic mycotoxins can cause more severe reactions, and in rare cases, deaths have occurred.
Schools Lack Funding for Mold Abatement
Budgetary shortfalls have slashed funding for school maintenance and renovations during the past several years which has further exacerbated the mold problem in Florida’s schools. Mold abatement is expensive, and mold is so pervasive it is can hide in air ducts and behind walls. Some school districts are addressing the issue up front and allocating funding to improve air quality and remove mold where it’s found. However, some districts have tried to save cost by adjusting the temperature as their solution to a mold problem. This might be a temporary fix, but it’s really just “kicking the can down the road,” as it doesn’t solve the problem.
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With funding for school systems limited, and mold abatement very expensive schools are looking at alternatives which are cost-effective. One technology being considered is called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI. UVGI is an important technology and now used in many hospitals, research centers, and laboratories where contamination with bacterial and fungal spores poses a serious health risk. The UVGI systems have been used in hospitals in HVAC systems (in-duct) primarily to keep the coils clean. A UVGI system has emerged which combines air filtration with UV-C lighting as a cost-effective option to reduce mold. Installed unobtrusively in ceilings, this type of system constantly disinfects air by forcing it through a chamber which contains a UV-C light.
Using differential pressure air passes through a MERV 6 filter which stops large contagions while allowing microorganisms to continue through as designed. Once mold spores or other microorganisms pass through they are exposed to a UV-C lamp there are eradicated. By utilizing a constant UV-C filtration system in each classroom the system will help minimize, if not entirely eliminate mold spores. Besides mold, there are many other pathogens which might be harmful to students including MRSA, TB, C-Diff, all of which are becoming resistant to drug therapy. The system is effective in eliminating all of these dangerous pathogens keeping both students and teachers secure.
This new type of system, using old proven UV-C technology might just be an affordable answer to helping keep Florida schools air quality both clean and healthy for students and teachers.
ABOUT HMB Enterprises, LLC
HMB is a Veteran-Owned Small business which specializes in healthcare related solutions which reduce cost and improve lives.
For more information, contact: HMB Enterprises for information at 1-678-887-7670.
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Company Name: HMB Enterprises, LLC
Contact Person: Harry Bailey
Phone: (678) 887-7670
Country: United States