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MORE ON MOLD AND YOUR HEALTH

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How Basement Waterproofing Helps You Rid Your Home of Mold in NJ, DE, PA

You can never get enough information about the health of you and your home.
Here is some information I found from the Maine Indoor Quality Control Counsel.

  • If you have concerns about mold in your home and want a free estimate on what it would cost to eliminate it call 610-495-9111 or register for a free estimate on our website.

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A lot of media attention is given to the effect of mold on human health. When dealing with a mold problem in your home or building, it is important to remember: don’t panic. The national Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds.

For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Mold is a common trigger for those with asthma. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold.

A link between other health effects such as bleeding lung, memory loss, or lethargy, and molds, has not been proven. Further studies are needed to find out what causes these other adverse health effects. Efforts are being undertaken nationwide to determine how much mold exposure is too much mold exposure. Until this can be scientifically determined, however, the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council recommends a preventive approach: keeping your home or building free of excess moisture and fixing moisture problems when they occur will minimize the risk of any health problems from mold exposure. Again, no excess moisture = no excess mold growth.

The following resource provides comprehensive information about the effect of mold on health:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – General information on mold and various mold species, as well as a recently released article on the state of mold science and health.

Building Science Corporation: Mold: Causes, Health Effects and Clean-Up

Remediating (cleaning-up or fixing) a mold problem

The approach to solve a mold problem in a building is fairly simple.

First, fix the moisture problem. Since excessive mold growth indoors is a result of excess moisture, finding and fixing the moisture problem is the necessary first step towards fixing a mold problem.

Second, clean up the mold. Depending on the extent of mold contamination, building owners and managers can either tackle the problem themselves, or hire a professional.

The following resources contain information about how to safely and effectively clean up a mold problem in a building.

Building Science Corporation: Mold Remediation in Occupied Homes

Virginia Cooperative Extension Service: Mold Remediation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home

The following guides, while primarily designed for building managers, custodians, and others who are responsible for large, commercial and institutional buildings, are also useful for individuals looking to hire a professional to handle a remediation. Contractors and other professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations will want to use and/or refer to these and other similar, professional guidelines.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings

New York City Department of Health: Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments

Testing for mold:

One of the most common questions asked by Maine building owners and occupants is: do I need to test my home or building for mold? Because mold is everywhere in our environment, both indoors and out, testing for mold is not as much a process of testing for the presence of mold, but rather a process to test for the species of molds and the quantity of molds present at the point the test is taken.

Building owners and occupants should ask themselves whether or not having knowledge of the species and quantity of mold is useful to them to help solve their mold problem or indoor air quality concern. In many instances, building owners and occupants have already identified a clearly defined moisture problem, and have visible evidence of resulting mold growth (they can see it or smell it.) In these cases, it would not likely be necessary to conduct a test. The building owner or manager should follow the guidance referenced above to fix the moisture problem and clean-up the mold properly.

When health problems from mold exposure are suspected; when you can’t see or smell mold but suspect the presence of mold; or when the extent of mold damage needs to be determined; testing may be useful.

The following resources can help determine when it is useful to test for mold:

Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: Guidance for Determining When to Conduct an IAQ Test

Building Science Corporation: Mold Testing

RESOURCES FOR PHYSICIANS

The U.S. EPA, in partnership with the University of Connecticut Health Center, has developed an excellent guidance document for health professionals to assist in the recognition and management of health effects from mold exposure. The document is available as a free PDF download and printed copies can be obtained by completing the book order form.