The University of Tennessee says more than 400 students have received new housing assignments and many have begin moving out of Laurel Hall after mold was found there earlier this month.
UT says about a dozen students are still waiting for their assignments and should have them in the next few days. More than 100 students opted out of continuing their housing contracts.
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The university says it has contracted with five apartment complexes to house the students and is placing some in other residence halls on campus.
Because of the types and amount of mold found in Laurel Hall, Environmental Air Quality Professionals Inc. recommended the students be relocated to another area and the building closed while they clean and remediate all apartments.
Samples were collected in 46 of the 313 apartments and 56.5 percent of surface samples tested positive for mold. Additionally, 87.2 percent of air samples showed elevated levels of mold. A microscopic analysis showed Aspergillus- and Penicillium-like spores.
Edward Sobek with Assured Bio says most people can breathe in those types of mold spores without any health effect, but mold is linked to some health issues, mainly in the upper respiratory system. Those most likely to be affected are those with pre-existing conditions including asthma and allergic rhinitis, and those undergoing immunosuppressive treatments.
UT says testing of 367 rooms in other residence halls only showed seven with elevated levels of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Four had elevated levels of black mold. UT says they have no plans to relocate residents in any other halls, but students who have concerns should submit an online maintenance request.