Things to Know About Mold at Home, Work or School
EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify mold to protect families, workers and students from exposure risks.
Cinnaminson, NJ, August 25th
This summer, a Pennsylvania company agreed to pay over $100,000 for wrongfully firing an employee who complained about the presence of mold at the plant they worked in. The worker had first brought concerns about mold exposure to their employer and then to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Workers are not the only ones who have become increasingly aware of exposure risks associated with elevated levels of mold. Students, teachers and the general public have become more informed about the ways that high levels of mold in the air they breathe can degrade the indoor air quality (IAQ) of a building and create a myriad of potential health concerns.
A number of government agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have published information about mold to further educate the public. The EPA has even published Ten Things You Should Know about Mold
. Their list includes the following information:
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity to decrease mold growth by:
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet and foods.
“Today, most people are better informed about the potential harm that can be caused by exposure to elevated levels of mold than they were even just a decade ago,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “While these exposure risks can be quite evident in some circumstances, other times the visible signs of mold may be hidden and not so obvious. In either circumstance, air, surface and bulk testing can provide evidence of what mold is present and in what concentrations. This information can be critical for identifying a problem along with the extent of the mold contamination throughout a property. Testing after mold remediation activities have taken place is also vital for ensuring that a property has been properly remediated.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video with the EPA’s Ten Things You Should Know about Mold that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jGTK9T27ThU.
To learn more about mold testing or other environmental, property damage, occupational or health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. For access and more information about EMSL’s Mold Test Kit, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.