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تاريخ درج: 4/8/81   The Monroe County Advocate


Increased bacteria, fungi levels found at Madisonville Primary School / By: TOMMY MILLSAPS

... Increased levels of the bacteria and an excessive amount of fungus were found after recent testing at Madisonville Primary School...


Increased bacteria, fungi levels found at Madisonville Primary School
    By: TOMMY MILLSAPS
    Source: The Monroe County Advocate 10/12/2002
    
    MADISONVILLE - Increased levels of the bacteria and an excessive amount of fungus were found after recent testing at Madisonville Primary School, according to a letter students at the school were given to take home to their parents.
    
    Director of Schools Joe Helms told The Advocate & Democrat of the findings Tuesday, but said the school was safe for students and school staff. Helms said county health and school system officials have devised a plan to correct the problems found at the school.
    
    The school will remain open for classes, Helms said.
    
    “It is not a health hazard,” he said. Helms said the school system tested the school after a concerned parent said mold in the school was making her child sick.
    
    The director of schools said school system officials contracted a Knoxville firm, Environmental Consulting & Testing, to test the school.
    
    According to test results released by the school system, the company collected several different types of air and dust samples at the school.
    
    The samples were sent to a P &K Microbiology, Inc., a New Jersey lab, in late September. Helms said the school system’s maintenance director, Charles Underwood, got the test results back Friday.
    
    The test showed increased levels of fungus in an air conditioner and increased bacteria levels in the library carpet and some classroom throw rugs.
    
    Helms said he met Monday with Underwood, Madisonville Primary Principal David Hester, the school system’s health coordinator, Sonia Hardin, Monroe County Health Department Director Teresa Harrill and Monroe County School System Transportation Director Steve McSpadden to discuss what actions were needed at the school.
    
    Helms said Monroe County Health Officer Dr. Barbara Levin has also been contacted. Helms said Environmental Consulting & Testing recommended a thorough cleaning of the school.
    
    “We will start work immediately cleaning up the school,” he said.
    
    During Monday’s meeting at the school system’s main office, officials devised six steps to alleviate the problem:
    
    n School officials will remove all carpet and throw away rugs immediately and hire a contractor to take up the library carpet and replace it with tile.
    
    n Harrill will check with the state’s health department officials and Levin to determine the immediate needs of the students and staff.
    
    n Hardin will speak with the child’s pediatrician and the concerned parent.
    
    n Underwood will be responsible for cleaning or hiring a contractor to clean the school’s air conditioners.
    
    n Teachers will remove old books, papers, cardboard boxes, etc. from classrooms. The school will purchase plastic storage containers needed for books and papers in classrooms.
    
    n Hester will send a letter home to parents stating health department officials do not view the school as a health hazard at this time.
    
    The cleanup at the school is expected to take several days.
    
    Helms said the school would be tested again after the cleanup is complete.
    
    School officials do not believe the problem at Madisonville Primary is as serious at the mold problem that forced the closure of Blount County’s Heritage High School for 20 days.
    
    Heritage High opened Monday after a cleanup program to reduce levels of aspergillius/penicillium mold in several classrooms, according to published reports.
    
    Parents with questions can contact Sonya Hardin at 442-5592.
    
    Tommy Millsaps can be reached at 337-7101 or mcanews4@xtn.net.
    
    
    
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