A school in Northern Alberta recently made headlines because of its closure due to a massive mould infestation that made students and teachers ill. The small, one-room school experienced a leaky pipe initially, and one month before the closure staff and students were complaining of a strong smell and headaches. Before the school was set to open again on May 4th, more mould was found because a proper mould inspection was not properly carried out. A professional mould assessment and removal project by experts is now underway.
Similar stories have been reported in recent years in the Greater Toronto Area, where a lack of funding, high population and older school buildings have created some of the most skewed classroom space to student population numbers in the country.
In one 2002 case reported in the National Post, students at an Etobicoke school were forced into crowded, falling-apart portables that were “rotting from sitting on wet ground” and had very poor ventilation leading to mould growth that was so bad, one male student was injured as a wooden staircase fell apart while he was standing on it. While severe, that wasn’t even the most shocking problem – 90 per cent of the students were experiencing health problems that were considered severe, such as headaches, asthma, bronchial infections and dizziness.
An unnamed source also mentioned that an abnormal number of the female portable teachers were experiencing fertility issues ranging from trouble conceiving to miscarriages. Meanwhile, the school board’s health and safety board found nothing wrong.
Smaller rooms, portables and larger numbers are becoming more commonplace if schools aren’t given the money to expand. When attending class in portables, both staff and students will spend a large amount of their day in the small, cramped space. If it’s infested with toxic mould, those nearby will spend a large amount of their day breathing it in unless the mould is found and removed properly.
Should you suspect the presence of mould in your home, school or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s mould removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414. We can help.
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