Air-quality, mold stamped OK after latest study
By Criselda Valdez
The Brownsville Herald

Environmental consultants on Tuesday reported indoor air quality and mold investigations at Hanna High School and the Oliveira Middle School campus show no cause for alarm.

Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc. performed the tests, ordered after teachers at the school complained of health and safety concerns and pointed to what they believe is a high incidence of cancer reported at the school.

During a facilities committee meeting Tuesday, Brownsville Independent School District administrators presented the report which indicates the company found no need for extensive mold remediation in the Hanna Pod-A wing - the subject of the most recent report.

According to BISD officials, a series of mold, asbestos, air quality and carbon dioxide tests have been conducted on various areas of the school between 1997 and 2001 by different consultants and the Texas Department of Health. More than 1,500 linear feet of asbestos-containing material was removed from Hanna in December 2000 but no cancer-causing agents were found.

The latest investigation was performed Aug. 27 and 28 of this year after Hanna teachers again expressed concern and asked the mold and asbestos content, as well as the soil be tested.

According to this report, "the purpose of this investigation was to test indoor air quality determining the presence and extent of mold contamination in the sampled areas."

The investigation found that only three of the 17 rooms observed needed cleaning. Raba Kistner recommended the walls on three rooms be "cleaned using a commercial grade biocide." The company suggested that the ceiling tile in Room 105 be replaced or removed.
Juan Pablo Villarreal, who works in BISD maintenance department, said the rooms had only surface mold and according to Raba Kistner, "posed no threat or concern."

Board President Herman Otis Powers Jr. asked that the entire campus be checked at a future date.

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