Let’s talk about the bathroom problems at Drew. Instead of the usual cleanliness and hygiene issues, this time we’ll discuss a more pressing matter —mold in the bathroom. Mold is becoming a more prominent concern regarding our bathrooms, as this is affecting the health and safety of those living on campus. An example is the grout in both Welch and Brown. The noticeable paint peeling is indicative of the extensive water damage occurring, water being used in the showers is extremely hard and concentrated with minerals from the town water. It is damaging to the shower walls and damaging to our skin and hair. Additionally, mold is forming along the metal handles in the shower and is growing and damaging the structure of the appliances. If this continues, it creates a health risk due to stagnant water and daily inhalation when using the shower. There is no drain on the bottom of Welch bathrooms, which creates even worse puddles of water.
It is not just students who are concerned but legitimate organizations speak about health issues related to public bathrooms as well. According to the CDC, having stagnant water in public areas can be highly problematic as it can harbor Legionella bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease if inhaled. Symptoms can range from shortness of breath to fever, as well as a cough and muscle aches. This is not an extremely dangerous disease, but it can obviously cause health issues. Those with underlying health conditions are more at risk. Having so many people going in and out of these bathrooms brings unwanted bacteria and dirt that degrades the function of our showerheads and tile. It is unpleasant to deal with as well as just unhygienic.
So I am asking Drew and facilities to update and renovate the bathrooms. Pools of water on the floor and mold in the vents and on the walls is caustic. It negatively impacts the health of us students, and we also want the experience of a pleasant shower.
Nina is a first year majoring in art history and minoring in museum studies and cultural management.