Mold Assessment & Remediation References
"Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings." U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, March 2001. (www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/mold_remediation.html)
Table of Contents
"Damp Indoor Spaces and Health." Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 2004. (books.nap.edu/catalog/11011.html).
Committee on Damp Indoor Spaces and Health -- 370 pages, 6 x 9, 2004
Almost all homes, apartments, and commercial buildings will experience leaks, flooding, or other forms of excessive indoor dampness at some point. Not only is excessive dampness a health problem by itself, it also contributes to several other potentially problematic types of situations. Molds and other microbial agents favor damp indoor environments, and excess moisture may initiate the release of chemical emissions from damaged building materials and furnishings. This new book from the Institute of Medicine examines the health impact of exposures resulting from damp indoor environments and offers recommendations for public health interventions.
Damp Indoor Spaces and Health covers a broad range of topics. The book not only examines the relationship between damp or moldy indoor environments and adverse health outcomes but also discusses how and where buildings get wet, how dampness influences microbial growth and chemical emissions, ways to prevent and remediate dampness, and elements of a public health response to the issues. A comprehensive literature review finds sufficient evidence of an association between damp indoor environments and some upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, wheezing, and asthma symptoms in sensitized persons. This important book will be of interest to a wide-ranging audience of science, health, engineering, and building professionals, government officials, and members of the public.
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration. A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace: www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html
Mold Remediation/Cleanup Methods
The purpose of mold remediation is to correct the moisture problem and to remove moldy and contaminated materials to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Porous materials that are wet and have mold growing on them may have to be discarded because molds can infiltrate porous substances and grow on or fill in empty spaces or crevices. This mold can be difficult or impossible to remove completely.
As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed, since the chemicals and proteins, which can cause a reaction in humans, are present even in dead mold.
A variety of cleanup methods are available for remediating damage to building materials and furnishings caused by moisture control problems and mold growth. The specific method or group of methods used will depend on the type of material affected. Some methods that may be used include the following:
Wet vacuums are vacuum cleaners designed to collect water. They can be used to remove water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces where water has accumulated. They should not be used to vacuum porous materials, such as gypsum board. Wet vacuums should be used only on wet materials, as spores may be exhausted into the indoor environment if insufficient liquid is present. The tanks, hoses, and attachments of these vacuums should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use since mold and mold spores may adhere to equipment surfaces.
Mold can generally be removed from nonporous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and detergent. It is important to dry these surfaces quickly and thoroughly to discourage further mold growth. Instructions for cleaning surfaces, as listed on product labels, should always be read and followed.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are recommended for final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and contaminated materials removed. HEPA vacuums also are recommended for cleanup of dust that may have settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. Care must be taken to assure that the filter is properly seated in the vacuum so that all the air passes through the filter. When changing the vacuum filter, remediators should wear respirators, appropriate personal protective clothing, gloves, and eye protection to prevent exposure to any captured mold and other contaminants. The filter and contents of the HEPA vacuum must be disposed of in impermeable bags or containers in such a way as to prevent release of the debris.
This entire full publication is found for free at: www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html
Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134. 63 FR 1152. January 8,1998. (www.osha.gov/dcsp/ote/trng-materials/respirators/respirators.html)
For additional information in a readily usable format go to Dr. Gary Rosen's site listed below to see his publications.
DR. SCHALLER NEITHER SUPPORTS NOR OPPOSES THE INFORMATION LISTED ABOVE. PLEASE DISCUSS WITH YOUR LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.