The Wausau School District will clean Lincoln Elementary School to rid it of three types of mold in time for classes to resume in the fall. The school was closed Tuesday after tunnels running under the school tested positive for three types of mold – stachybotrys chartarum, cladosporium and aspergillus – and summer classes were moved to another school.
“We responded quickly once we had the results from the test,” said Mary Ellen Marnholtz, community relations coordinator for the Wausau School District. Although the tunnels are not connected to the school’s air system, the school district does not want to put students at risk. We felt it was prudent to take this step to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Marnholtz said. “We never want to compromise safety.” Classes are canceled until Monday, when Lincoln ‘s summer school will begin at G.D. Jones Elementary School , 1018 S. 12th Ave.
Marnholtz said she does not know how long it will take to remove the mold, but Lincoln will be ready to reopen in the fall. “We will be checking out the rest of our buildings to make sure this is not a problem occurring at our other schools,” Marnholtz said.
Stachybotrys has been linked to permanent neurological, pathological, psychological and immunological problems, including MS, Lupus, and seizures. Milder reactions include fever and shortness of breath. Certain species of cladosporium can cause severe illnesses and infections when they come into contact with small cuts. Prolonged exposure can weaken the immune system by allowing bacteria and viruses to infect the body, and even cause a systemic infection.
Stachybotrys chartarum is caused by water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation or flooding. Aspergillus can cause an infection called aspergillosis, a growth or an allergic response, depending upon the species of the mold, among many other severe health problems.