Medical professionals and building owners are working to address what has become a very challenging problem...
Medical professionals and building owners are working to address what has become a very challenging problem: living and working with mold.
According to U.S.E.P.A. when moisture problems occur and mold growth results, building occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions to mold are common - these reactions can be immediate or delayed. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).
Current research suggests that mold spores and fragments can produce allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, regardless of whether the mold is dead or alive. Many of these symptoms are non-specific and can be related to a wide variety of common ailments. There is also evidence that repeated or single exposure to mold or mold spores may cause previously non-sensitive individuals to develop sensitivity. Repeated exposure has the potential to increase sensitivity.
Mold spores also increase susceptibility to a wide variety of diseases by weakening the immune system. Aspergillus fumigatus, for example, has been known to infect the lungs of immune-compromised individuals. These individuals inhale the mold spores which then start growing in their lungs. Trichoderma has also been known to infect immune-compromised children.
In many instances, building owners may clean small amounts of mold growth using conventional cleaning agents such as detergents or bleach. However, for areas greater than 10 sq. ft., it is recommended that cleaning be performed by knowledgeable and trained professionals to limit human exposure and the potential for disbursing spores to unintended areas. Prior to performing any cleanup activity, it is important to identify and correct any conditions that might provide sufficient moisture for mold growth.
A growing number of organizations are working to develop guidelines based on lessons learned from building forensics. Building designers are now seeking innovative approaches to achieve the desired energy efficiency and ventilation while maintaining a healthy indoor air quality.
Maintaining appropriate humidity levels in your home can be an important factor in controlling mold growth.
Look for high humidity or excess moisture sources around these areas: plumbing, windows and doors, insulated exterior walls, heat and air vents, basement and attics.
Cira and Associates Consulting can help you maintain or re-establish a normal fungal ecology for your home or workplace. We can also help you to reduce other airborne contaminants that may adversely affect your living and working environment.
Cira and Associates Consulting LLC can help maintain or re-establish a normal fungal ecology or reduce other contaminants that can adversely affect the living conditions and air quality in your home.