Opinion

Mold spores may pose health threat in dorms

Living in South Florida, there are a few things we should all expect from our environment. The combination of sun, rain and humidity can result in factors that can range from minor discomforts to serious health problems. We should all be aware of how our environment affects us so that we can better adapt to a sometimes hostile climate.

One particular problem is affecting the residents of our campus community: mold. It is caused by humidity and builds in such places as air conditioning ducts and behind walls. Although harmless in small quantities, if unchecked, large build-ups can be extremely hazardous to one’s health. Mold spores can cause nasal and sinus congestion, dry cough, wheezing, sore throat, shortness of breath, burning eyes, skin irritation, central nervous system problems and other respiratory problems. Most of these symptoms can be easily mistaken for a cold and mold may never be identified as the culprit. If left untreated, permanent physical damage can result.

How do you know if your dorm room or apartment has mold? It’s not that difficult: if you can see or smell mold, you have a moisture and mold problem. Mold growths are often seen in the form of discoloration.

It’s a problem that has construction companies around the country scrambling to solve the issue when building new homes. Millions of dollars have already been claimed by people who have been affected, since, the argument is, it is the way buildings are constructed that make a house more inviting to mold. In fact, Erin Brockovich, whose fight against the electric giant PG&E led to a movie, has taken on this new battle against irresponsible construction work after her own house had been affected by a hazardous amount of mold.

Some UM students who are well versed in this problem have discovered mold in their own dorms and have been experiencing most of the symptoms attributed to mold. However, it took numerous complaints on their part for it to be removed from their air conditioning ducts.

This lack of response from the university should not be blamed on laziness or disrespect, however. It is more likely that those in charge of maintenance are not aware of the serious health risks involved with the build-up of mold. It is important that measures be taken so that more serious health problems involved with these organisms do not arise.

Jean-Paul Renaud is a senior majoring in Journalism and Political Science.

October 29, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Asa Martin era for the Miami Hurricanes might be coming to an end just six months after it began ...

Avantae Williams and Lorenzo Lingard punctuated Paradise Camp with a chest bump. The Miami Hurricane ...

Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami displayed tremendous defense in leading the Pizza Hut ...

June is one of the most important months in the recruiting calendar and the Miami Hurricanes finishe ...

A six-pack of notes from UM’s annual Paradise Camp on Saturday: ▪ Few Canes greats have as unique a ...

The first debates of the Democratic presidential primary season will take place over two nights. How ...

Doctoral student Maria del Rosario Concha Mendez is spending the summer researching materials in the ...

Alumna Lauren Crotty reflects on her undergraduate experience and the path that led her to sign up w ...

The U.S. women’s national soccer team, competing for the World Cup in France, is entrenched in a cou ...

In the first course of its kind on a college campus, faculty, staff, and students will learn if they ...

Two outgoing Miami student-athletes, Emese Hof and Samantha Gonzalez, are among the record 585 nomin ...

Chris McMahon was selected to participate in the 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team earned All-ACC Academic Team distinction, as anno ...

Eight Miami Hurricanes were among those recognized by the conference with selections to the Track an ...

UM forward Dewan Hernandez was selected 59th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Draft. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.