Ottley: Inspect all schools for mold as preventative measure

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Businessman Omar Ottley on Thursday said the unhealthy working environment that forced ambulance workers and fire fighters to strike, should raise the alarm about the environment of other institutions, in particular schools. Ottley sympathized with the ambulance and fire fighters and stressed that the constant presence mold and other such unhealthy fungus should not be underestimated on the long-term health of people.

Ottley reminded the authorities that he publicly urged the responsible departments and inspectors weeks ago to check all the schools “to protect our kids from being exposed to such unfriendly environmental conditions.”

“Recently there have been an increase in asthmatic kids and although this (mold or otherwise) may or may not be the reason, I believe that prevention is better than cure,” Ottley said. “Take for example the case of GEBE where workers were unknowingly exposed to Asbestos.  Asbestos is such a serious matter that experts for The Netherlands were brought in to remove and dispose of this hazardous material in the proper manner.

“If I am not mistaken some schools were also said to have had mold. Let’s act on this matter and execute inspections to make sure our kids are in a safe and healthy environment.  Again I am not pointing fingers or playing the blame game. The wellbeing of our kids is never a game and as a responsible community these are the things we have to tackle before it’s too late,” he added.