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