Black mold: are Maple residents at risk?

By Staff Writer Madison Kenn

Recently, residents of Maple Ridge, one of the freshman buildings on campus, have found black mold forming in their dorms located on the second floor.A first-year biology major, Dawson Danneker, had discovered the mold this past Tuesday, October 16.

Danneker described it as “black and dense by the window, turning green as it progressed further into the room and onto the ceiling.” He noted that he and his roomate worked together in attempts to clean the mold. The top layer was able to be removed using lysol wipes, but the deeper layer could not be prevented from spreading.

According to, which was medically reviewed by Jill Seladi-Schulman, PhD, many black molds are referred to as toxigenic. In other words, they are known to release toxins that can be irritating, or potentially harmful to people who are sharing an environment with the mold.

Minor mold poisoning symptoms include coughing, wheezing, irritation to the eyes; usually itchiness or redness, and a clogged nose. There are far more serious symptoms resulting from the exposure of black mold.

These include hair loss, anxiety, confusion or memory loss, numbness in the hands and feet, stomach pains, sensitivity to light, and muscle cramps.
These symptoms are more severe, and are commonly diagnosed from long term exposure, and should be treated immediately.

Fortunately, Dannecker experienced none of these symptoms. Had the mold not been discovered sooner, the outcome could have been different.

As a result of this discovery, the studengts were moved to Pine Dale: another building on campus offered for first-year residents.

The students were told by Maple Ridge’s Resident Director that they would be able to move back into their original dorm room by, Friday, October 19.

Luckily, this experience was nothing but an inconvenience, but it could’ve been a serious health risk, had someone been physically harmed. It is important to inspect the rooms of residents on campus, their safety being a priority, as an addition to their education.

The women’s bathroom located on the first floor of Maple Ridge, specifically across from the 123 hall, is a home for this black mold as well.

A first-year biology major, who wishes to remain anonymous and who is living in the 123 hall was getting ready to take a shower as she noticed the mold forming in the bottom corner of the shower on the right side.

The majority of students fear that the bathrooms are unsanitary, mold or not, and play it safe by wearing shower shoes, opposed to going barefoot. Others however, treat the facility as they would at home.

The mold is a health risk, whether it is growing in living quarters, or facilities such as the bathroom, where personal hygiene is encouraged.

UMassD staff are aware of this problem and are acting upon it to the best of their ability as it is important to provide a safe, living and learning community for all residents.
If more mold is discovered it needs to be brought to the attention the Housing and Residential staff for further investigation and proper cleaning.



One thought on “Black mold: are Maple residents at risk?

  1. They do not merely need to investigate and clean the mold. They need to check diagnostics on students exposed to the mold. Diagnostics procedures to check for specific types of mold spores in blood samples are available. About 100+ tests exist for those. You would need to know the species of mold given students and others were exposed to for that.

    Genetic markers exist that may show up in the bloodstream as being out of range. The tests for these genetic markers are covered by insurance. The information at may help you. The doctor whose website this is is, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. A lot of information is there and it may be worth suggesting the staff look into it.


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