can do. >we went out to the allergy and asthma center to get the answers. but they said pinpointing mold as the reason for any variety of symptoms... can be difficult. >for doctor prasad nataraj... handeling patients with
allergies is his forte. >"how are you doing, miss ashley?" >he's practiced allergy and asthma in maryland since 19-95, and he's no stranger to dealing with patients with a mold allergy. tricky.
>"out of hundreds of molds, we only have fda approved tests for about 15 to 20 molds at the most." >dr. nataraj says mold typically effects very young kids... the elderly... those with a weak immune system... and people with allergies and
asthma. >"there are no skin tests or blood tests or urine tests to see if patients or children have been exposed to excessive molds in school. it's more of a visual-- if there is excessive mold growth, excessive water problems in school."
>he says there's no clear consensus of effects of short periods of exposure versus longer periods... only saying, if patients with allergies were in a building with mold... their symptoms would flare. >"these symptoms are so vague, fevers, generalized
fatigue, joint pain, there are so many other medical conditions, that could be causing it, we can't really associate it with mold exposure whether it is at school or home or out in the environment." >dr. nataraj says if they can correlate the reactions with
sinus disease or asthma... they can try to get patients to avoid the environment... desenstize them... or treat them with medications. he says anyone at any age can develop allergies and asthma. in an email that the in focus team obtained... a glenwood
middle school teacher wrote: "i now have an inhaler and a steroid inhaler since the emergency one did not work any longer. i did not have asthma before working at glenwood." >another glenwood staff member writes: "p-s i am now prescribed an inhaler, which
i've never had to use in my life!" >"if you look at the number of children and adults twenty years ago, it was a lot less, but today the numbers are much higher. nobody has been able to explain why." >he says overall, we still
don't know why more people are on asthma medications... and says, we have to look at each case individually. >"the big problem is there are no national accepted standards for molds in homes or schools." >the school system sent the in focus team a statement saying:
"our buildings are safe. every one of the air quality professionals that have tested our buildings have indicated that they are safe for students