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With Black Mold, Always Better to Err on the Side of Caution

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Hanover, PAToxic Mold Exposure continues to be a confusing subject for most people, given that household black mold and other sources of mold are more commonplace than most people think and not quite as hazardous as most people realize. Still, few are keen on taking any chances.

MoldWitness what happened this week when the Spring Grove Area School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania closed their middle school two days after welcoming students back to class following the summer break. School officials noticed some dark spots on carpeting in the building. After air-quality testing showed higher-than-normal mold spore counts, officials wasted no time responding.

The school was closed, the carpet removed and a thorough cleaning was undertaken, including the deployment of air scrubbers to remove mold spores.

Was it Toxic Black Mold?

School officials might have reacted with overkill against mold that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, may not have been all that offensive. Mold, in itself is very common and usually not a threat beyond individuals with acute sensitivity to mold and other allergens.

Toxic molds, on the other hand pose a much greater danger to people with certain exiting conditions, including compromised immune systems and chronic respiratory problems.

Still, according to the Evening Sun of September 3rd the school officials in Hanover reacted responsibly, especially in view of the general view of mold, together with the perceived—if not real—threat mold can pose.

The CDC certainly does not suggest that mold formations be shrugged off, especially before determining if they are simply basic mold, or the more offensive and dangerous toxic molds that produce mycotoxins.

That said, raising a red flag in panic could be an over-reaction, says the CDC.

The Evening Sun is of the view that parents need to be informed that most molds are NOT toxic—and that most people are not overly sensitive to exposure. As well, an entire industry catering to the identification and eradication of mold helps build confidence, but also adds to the fear.

Still, household mold problems and toxic mold exposure in other areas can be a serious issue. Toxic mold exposure symptoms can be serious and in some cases the presence of toxic mold can be so severe the only recourse is to tear down the house. Thus, it seems that with toxic black mold, the best recourse is to err on the side of caution.

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