Virginia college students exposed to mold in dorms

Students at the College of William and Mary have seen their residence halls ravaged by mold over the past six months after a string of wild storms battered the Williamsburg, Virginia campus.

The college's Environmental Health and Safety Office has received 19 requests throughout 2012 to have mold testing conducted in dorms across the campus. So far, the school has only responded to five such requests.

In the summer, relative humidity in the Williamsburg area peaks at around 80 percent, meaning that buildings in this city are highly susceptible to mold buildup. With many facilities on the William and Mary campus being well over 100 years old, some mold may have been developing for long periods and have only recently become apparent on walls and other surfaces.

"The ceiling had water spots and then the water grew and spread. It was gray and then green and then black. It was disgusting. Your room is supposed to be somewhere you feel at home, but we didn’t really want to be there," Stephanie Krauss, a William and Mary student, told the school's newspaper, the Flat Hat.

Sandra Prior, the head of the school's Environmental Health and Safety Office, told the source that in cases where mold spores get loose in the air, symptoms usually include persistent colds and fatigue. However, if cases are extreme, nose bleeding and hair loss may occur, according to Prior.

For homeowners who believe their property may have been affected by the tumultuous weather that has rocked much of the country over the past year, a home inspection contractor can perform mold testing and help determine what steps should be taken to remedy the situation.