Concern: Patapsco Middle School: January 31st, 2023 (CXXPMS2023000271)

Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
I believe my carpet has mold spores that are adversely affecting my health by causing an increase in headaches which are leading to more migraines and excessive eye tearing.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: February 1, 2023

The space is finished with drywall, carpeting, and a drop-ceiling. The space also contains cabinetry with a sink.

The temperature (71.8 degrees Fahrenheit), carbon dioxide (710 parts per million (ppm)), and carbon monoxide (0.0) were acceptable. 

Relative humidity (13.3%) could be considered low, however this is expected during this time of year. HCPSS does not provide humidity via the ventilation system as it is not standard practice in this region. Humidification can also introduce the potential for clinical health conditions such as humidifier fever.

A staff member familiar with the space was not aware of any significant leaks/floods.

The carpet was probed with a moisture meter. No elevated moisture was detected.

The carpet was not emitting an odor that would indicate the presence of mold growth.

The space was scanned with a thermal imaging camera. No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were identified. 

Drywall and wood casework was randomly probed (near floor) with a moisture meter. No elevated moisture was detected. 

Various wooden surfaces were assessed for visible mold growth. No visible mold growth was observed. 

Moderate to heavy dust accumulation was observed on various horizontal surfaces to include file cabinets, shelving, and the chalk tray. Additional items (brought in by staff) such as lamps and picture frames also had moderate to heavy dust accumulation. 

Dust accumulations were also observed on the carpet in the corners of the space. 

Areas under the sink were assessed and probed with a moisture meter. No visible signs of leaking were observed. No elevated moisture was detected.

An aerosol disinfectant spray was observed. 

Areas above the drop-ceiling were assessed. No concerns were identified. 

The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) that serves the space was assessed (Air Handling Unit-3):

  • The outside air dampers were open.
  • The filters were in place and in good condition
  • The coils and condensate pan were in acceptable condition.
Corrective Actions
February 1st, 2023

Custodial Services is to dust/clean/improve general housekeeping in the space and maintain regular dusting practices per Custodial cleaning schedule.

February 1st, 2023

Any items brought in by staff are to be dusted regularly by the staff member who brought them in. Custodial is not responsible for maintaining items not issued by HCPSS. The Office of the Environment recommends staff work with their custodian to coordinate dusting activities so that staff can remove as many items from surfaces as possible prior to. This allows Custodial staff to conduct a more thorough cleaning.  

February 17th, 2023

The disinfectant spray is to be removed by the staff member who brought it in. If the teacher wishes to perform additional disinfection/cleaning,  the individual can request the approved HCPSS cleaner from Custodial staff. 

Tracking Number