Hilton Head Elementary Air Testing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/24/02

Hilton Head Elementary Air Testing

Environmental workers use special equipment to take air samples for testing.

You can't see it, taste it, or smell it, but it might be making kids sick in school. The problem is at Hilton Head elementary, where they started testing classrooms for mold today, in response to some parents' concerns that their children were getting sick at the school. Beaufort County officials take the issue of mold and the breathing problems it can cause seriously.

"We're taking it serious because we obviously don't want mold in our schools," said Paul Carstens, the county's director of maintenance.

Environmental specialists will be climbing ladders, looking at vents, and taking air samples for the next three days to see what's going on in the classrooms. A problem with mold can cause serious reactions in people with conditions such as asthma, and the testing throughout Beaufort County isn't cheap.

"We're still in the process of a $15 million renovation project to update schools," said Carstens.

Principal Mary Briggs says only 11 students a day out of more than 2,000 have been absent since school started in August, and she says they're willing to do and spend whatever it takes to correct a problem, if indeed there is a problem.

Reported by: David Allgood

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