Education

May 17, 2019

A dangerous delay

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2019
By: Jenn Abelson, Amy Brittain and Sarah Larimer

The University of Maryland waited 18 days to inform students of a virus on campus. That decision left vulnerable students like Olivia Paregol in the dark.

It had been six days since Olivia Shea Paregol walked out of the University of Maryland health center without an answer for why she felt so awful.

Now, the 18-year-old freshman was curled up in the fetal position on the floor of her dorm room at Elkton Hall in College Park, her brown hair resting on the shaggy white rug. She warned her friends, Sarah Hauk and Riley Whelan, to stay away from a plastic bag where she had just vomited.

The teenagers hoisted Olivia up and shuffled to the elevator. Once inside, Olivia leaned against the wall and slid to the floor.

“Don’t sit down,” Riley said. “Come on, it’s just a short ride. You can do this.”

“I literally can’t,” said Olivia, the words slicing her sore throat like knives. “I have to lay down.”

Olivia had been sick most of her first semester living in an overcrowded dorm that was infested with mold. But her symptoms now were far worse than a cough and congestion.

May 16, 2019

Frantic parents fear for kids after radioactive contamination found at Ohio middle school

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com, May 16, 2019
By: Safia Samee Ali

“It’s so scary that my child has been exposed to this because I have no idea how it’s going to affect him,” one mother said.

Ashley Day has always worried about the health risks of living a few miles from a defunct nuclear power plant in Piketon, Ohio. So, when her son Kendon came home Monday and told her school had been canceled for the rest of the year, she had a sinking feeling there was a connection.

A few hours later, her fears were confirmed: The Scioto Valley Local School District declared in a letter that Zahn’s Corner Middle School would be shut down for the remainder of the school year because of possible radioactive contamination from the nearby Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which the federal Department of Energy is in the process of decommissioning.

“I felt anxiety, anger, and paranoia all at once,” she said. “It’s so scary that my child has been exposed to this because I have no idea how it’s going to affect him.”

The district said enriched uranium and neptunium-237, highly carcinogenic radioactive chemicals, were detected not only inside the building but also at a Department of Energy air monitor adjacent to the school.…

January 9, 2019

Millbrook students ‘home’ after months-long mold cleanup, repairs

Source: https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com, January 9, 2018
By: Nina Schutzman

A Millbrook district elementary school is open again, nearly four months after shutting down for mold remediation and renovations.

And for Elm Drive Elementary’s 160-plus students, the re-opening of their building brought a fresh start and a homecoming.

Elm Drive had been closed since September. While remediation and repairs were ongoing, Elm Drive’s K-2 students were relocated to Millbrook Middle School.

Now the kids are “back where they belong,” said Millbrook Central School District Superintendent Philip D’Angelo.

And the school they returned to is in better shape than the one they left behind, officials say.

“It’s been a difficult start of the school year,” D’Angelo told the Poughkeepsie Journal. “You try to find an opportunity out of a tough situation. This building is 59-years-old, but (now) it’s almost like new.”

The district’s insurance company, New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal, is projected to pay more than $2 million for work completed inside of the school, said Brian Fried, Millbrook’s assistant superintendent for business, finance and operations.…

November 28, 2018

Mercer University cleaning up hazardous site

Source: https://www.13wmaz.com, November 28, 2018
By: Avery Braxton

The Mercer University Triangle is considered a hazardous site by the Environmental Protection Division.

An area frequented by Mercer University students and Bibb County residents has been considered a hazardous site for years.

November 27, 2018

Freshman death leads to fears of possible mold-adenovirus connection at University of Maryland

Source: https://www.theblaze.com, November 23, 2018
By: Teri Webster

The University of Maryland in College Park is contending with fears about whether a student’s death from adenovirus was related to mold found in campus dorm rooms. Five more students also have illnesses tied to the virus, but it isn’t clear if mold is the culprit, according to published reports.

Freshman Olivia Paregol, 18, died Sunday after contracting the virus, CBS News reported.

Adenoviruses are common and can cause symptoms such as a cold or eye infections, according to published reports. A vaccine is reportedly available for adenovirus, but it is not available to the public.

What is going on?

Freshman Jessica Thompson told the news outlet she noticed mold on her shoes and on clothing in her dorm room in August. Thompson said she believe the fungus made her and her roommate ill.

“You can’t sleep at night because the pillow is right next to mold and you’re up all night coughing,” Thompson told the news outlet. “We got to go home on the weekends and we would be totally fine at home, and we would come back and would be sniffling and coughing and then have headaches.”…

October 8, 2018

NEW JERSEY SCHOOLS DISCOVER LEGIONELLA BACTERIA IN DRINKING WATER SYSTEM

Source: https://www.wqpmag.com, October 8, 2018

The bacteria was discovered following two cases of Legionnaires’ disease

Legionella discovered in New Jersey drinking water

Legionella discovered in New Jersey drinking water

Nine schools and one hotel in West Orange, N.J., discovered legionella bacteria following two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. The schools and hotel are flushing pipes and the hotel has replaced shower heads. The bacteria has been found in drinking water at all but three West Orange Public Schools, as reported by NJ Advance Media.

According to West Orange Public Schools, legionella was found in samples taken from Gregory Elementary School, Hazel Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, Redwood Elementary School, St. Cloud Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Edison Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School, West Orange High School and the administrative building.

“The region sees seasonal increases in the summer months generally,” said Nicole Kirgan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health. “This year seems particularly active, given that we have experienced very wet and humid weather these past few months.”

While there have been no confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease at West Orange Public Schools, there were two cases at the Ramada Plaza hotel near the Newark Airport. The hotel has taken steps to disinfect their water system and replace shower heads, following the discovery.

According to ABC News, the schools district has begun the process of pumping chlorine into the schools hot water heaters to flush the system. Following the flush, new water samples will be taken seven to ten days later to ensure the bacteria is gone.

July 19, 2018

Towers Residence Suites to remain closed as WSU clears Legionella from campus

Source: https://www.wxyz.com, July 16, 2018

Wayne State University officials say they are working to eliminate the Legionella bacteria that has been found in a number of buildings on campus.

However, they say that while much of the contamination has been remediated, work still needs to be done on several facilities, including the Towers Residence Suites and the Student Center.

Officials say it will take several more weeks before they rooftop cooling towers on the Towers Residence Suites can be replaced, and the building will remain unoccupied during that time.

The Student Center will remain open. However, the air conditioning will remain off during the repairs, which are expected to take several days.…

June 8, 2018

Bacteria Causing Legionnaires’ Disease Found At Wayne State

Source: https://patch.com, June 7, 2018
By: Jessica Strachan

Legionella, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease, was discovered in several Wayne State University buildings.

Legionella, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease, was located in several Wayne State University buildings, according to reports. The university began testing for potential legionella sources after an employee in the Faculty Administration Building was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, WDIV reported. Cooling towers on three campus buildings tested positive for legionella.

Remediation in those three towers began immediately Wednesday evening using the prescribed disinfection process, the university said. Legionella was also identified in a private bathroom in the faculty building, in a first-floor men’s bathroom in Scott Hall next to room 1200, and in a men’s bathroom next to room 118 in the Cohn Building. The bathrooms will be closed until they can be further evaluated.…

October 13, 2017

Philadelphia school to remain closed Friday for mold remediation

Source: http://www.phillyvoice.com, October 12, 2017
By: Andrew Parent

An elementary school in the city’s Germantown section will remain closed Friday as work continues to remove mold found in several of its classrooms.

About 80 percent of the remediation work at John B. Kelly Elementary School had been completed as of early Thursday afternoon, according to the School District of Philadelphia.

Trace amounts of mold were the result of issues with the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, according to the district, which was alerted to contamination on Wednesday.

An environmental remediation contractor began work to remove the mold Wednesday afternoon and had been expected to finish the job Thursday evening, the district said.

The district said the school will not reopen until it is mold-free.

Faculty members will again report Friday to the Hill-Freedman World Academy, 1100 E. Mt. Pleasant St.

The district plans to give an update to parents and staff no later than 5 p.m. Sunday.…

October 13, 2017

More mold found in Cheltenham schools

Source: http://www.philly.com, October 10, 2017
By: Kristen A. Graham

Monroe Township in Gloucester County isn’t the only district coping with a mold problem in one of its schools.

Cheltenham, where mold caused years of problems and ultimately forced the school district to shut and rebuild one of its middle schools, has had another mold outbreak.

Cheltenham High School’s library was closed this week after mold was found there, said Steve Greenbaum, a district spokesman.

The problem was discovered when a staffer who worked in the library complained of feeling sick. Cheltenham contracted with an environmental engineering firm, which found mold in the air and on many of the library’s books. Immediate remediation was suggested.

The district shut the library as of Monday and is accelerating a project to renovate the library and replace its HVAC system. It will remain closed through the renovation, a process that is expected to last into the spring.

A six-point plan to remediate the mold is underway, officials said — from removing and replacing ceiling tiles to using special filters and vacuums to clean and purify the books and rooms.

Greenbaum said it was not immediately clear how much the remediation and renovation would cost.

The rest of the school is unaffected, Cheltenham officials said in information sent to parents. The library’s HVAC system is self-contained, so its air was not spread to other areas in the building.

“Families will be notified if additional mold testing within the high school yields problematic results,” the district said.

No mold was found in the library when it was cleaned and prepared for students prior to the start of the school year, officials said, and no one reported any possible problems until the staffer disclosed her illness recently.

While the library is closed, school officials have made alternate spaces available for students to study, take exams, seek help for computer repairs, and print documents.…