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ABC15 pushes for answers following claims of mold inside ASU dorms

Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 20:50:26-05

TEMPE, AZ — ABC15 is pushing for answers following our report about claims of mold and student health issues inside Arizona State University dorms.

We showed you the lab test results, pictures, and provided expert analysis in a special report Monday night.

Tuesday, we asked ASU and public health officials for a response.

We reached out to the university and asked to speak to President Dr. Michael Crow about these claims and are still waiting to hear back.

ABC15 also talked to public health officials, including one who referred us back to ASU rather than answering our questions.

For months we’ve been looking into complaints from ASU students and parents about health problems, they say, are caused by mold inside ASU’s dorms.

ASU tells ABC15 it takes concerns about mold seriously and immediately takes action.

Though parents we spoke to say the university is not doing enough.

“I said, this is crazy. What is ASU doing about this? And to be honest, they are not doing much,” the mom of an ASU student living in the dorms told ABC15.

In this case, ASU tells us it did not find evidence of active mold growth even though a test commissioned by the parents and reviewed by a third-party expert says otherwise.

“You’ll see that there’s an asterisk next to a few of the quantities. The two high and the one rare. What they’re saying in plain English is there’s evidence of actual growth, that this just isn’t normal settling of background fungal structures,” said Michael Schrantz, an indoor environmental professional and owner of Environmental Analytics.

Though the parents we mentioned earlier say that's not their only frustration. They also filed a complaint with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

ABC15 wanted to find out who is responsible for oversight in cases like this. So, we followed up with AZDHS.

The department initially referred us to Maricopa County, who eventually sent us to the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.

We wanted to know: what are the standards for maintaining safe indoor air quality and who is responsible for holding property owners accountable?

Maricopa County Environmental Services told us in January:

“No governmental entity has jurisdiction for non-workplace (residential) situations."

ABC15 called them again on Tuesday, for clarification on our question.

We didn’t get a return phone call, but did get a response to our email, referring us back to an ASU spokesperson.

ABC15 also reached out to the City of Tempe, to see if they had anyone who investigates complaints about conditions at ASU.

They responded letting us know their “Code Enforcement does not perform interior inspections on ASU property.”

With more parents coming forward after our initial investigation aired Monday, and few answers from public officials, we also emailed and called the Arizona Board of Regents.

The Arizona Board of Regents is the governing body of Arizona's public university system.

They have yet to respond.