|West Clermont Local School District|
8405 - INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ): MOLD
The Board of Education believes that the potential problem of mold presence and the threat to Indoor Air Quality within the buildings of the District deserves the attention of all staff members who work within those buildings. This procedure provides guidance in the detection and response to conditions leading to mold growth.
Excessive moisture levels or improperly maintained HVAC systems can lead to conditions optimum for the development of biological contaminants such as mold and fungi on indoor surfaces. When airborne, the presence of these contaminants can be harmful on contact with human respiratory tissue. Contributing factors to excessive moisture levels may include but not be limited to the following:
|B.||structural defects in the building|
|D.||improperly controlled humidity levels, and|
|E.||faulty HVAC systems/poor ventilation|
Mold spores are always present in indoor air but do not reproduce in the indoor environment unless conditions are present which meet growth requirements. These requirements include moisture and an organic food source. Virtually any organic substance may meet the requirements as a food source, and may include wood, carpeting, paper products (books, stored paper, files), insulation, foodstuff, wallboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, etc. Attention must be focused on identifying excess moisture sources which, coupled with the food source, may lead to mold development.
Staff members are to immediately report any signs of excess moisture to custodial personnel. This may include obvious plumbing leaks, wet spots on ceilings, walls, or windowsills, damp or sagging ceiling tiles, wet carpet, condensation on pipes, windows, to other surfaces, or other indications of excessive moisture within the building such as overflowing HVAC drip pans, moisture collecting on air vents, or musty odors.
Once identified, steps shall be taken to identify the moisture source and to determine a course of action for proper response, including mold remediation, if indicated, and under the direction of the IAQ Coordinator. It is important that any wet or damp spots be cleaned and dried within forty-eight (48) hours and that indoor humidity levels be maintained below sixty percent (60%) relative humidity and ideally between thirty to fifty percent (30%-50%) (USEPA) if possible.
If no maintenance staff members with the District have received specialized training in the identification and remediation of mold, it shall be necessary to enlist the services of experienced professionals to assist in this effort.
If building occupants are reporting health problems such as allergic responses (runny nose, eye irritation, skin rash, asthma attacks, respiratory problems, headaches) or if an area has an unexplained musty smell, it is possible that mold is present within the ceilings, walls, ductwork, under carpeting, or other areas that are not obvious without further investigation. These concerns must not be ignored, and should be reported immediately to supervisory personnel and the IAQ Coordinator.
If mold is suspected, area occupants must be removed and steps taken to identify the mold location. Personnel searching for the mold should take proper safety precautions in order to safeguard their own health and to avoid releasing additional mold spores into the air. At the direction of IAQ Coordinator, it may be necessary to enlist the services of experienced professionals and it may be advisable to notify the county health department. The area in question should not be re-occupied until the IAQ Coordinator has determined that the mold remediation has taken place and moisture sources have been identified and corrected, or that the situation does not require such remediation.
The Superintendent shall appoint an IAQ Coordinator who shall have the responsibility of investigating or causing to be investigated all complaints relating to IAQ. Results of all such investigations are to be recorded and provided to the Superintendent. These records are to include the source of the complaint, the steps taken to address the complaint, and any remediation taken, if indicated.
All staff are to be made aware of conditions necessary for mold development, and of each individual's responsibility to report any concerns relative to those conditions to their supervisor.
The EPA website contains valuable information regarding mold and mold remediation in public buildings. The EPA publicationMold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings is to be available for reference in all buildings.
© Neola 2004