ICS Magazine

Toxic mold found in school

October 19, 2000
A toxic mold discovered at La Rosa Elementary School in Temple City, Calif., caused the entire campus to be shut down on the first day of the school year. An industrial hygienist found the toxic mold “stachybotrys” growing on a tissue box under a classroom sink.

When dry, stachybotrys can release spores that trigger headaches, sore throats, diarrhea and fatigue. However, the mold was gummy when discovered.

Temple City Schools Superintendent Joan Hillard said all the mold has been removed, and she defended the district’s decision to keep the school closed until results from further tests are completed. A hearing on the problem was held at the Oak Avenue Intermediate School.

One of the teachers from La Rosa Elementary School, Sylvia Templar, filed a complaint with Cal-OSHA in March, after she and two other teachers repeatedly fell ill during the school year. She said they were suffering from headaches, sore throats, earaches, runny noses, and coughs that lasted two months. The teachers said medical tests revealed stachybotrys in their blood.