BLACK MOLD REMOVAL
Basic Guidelines on Black Mold Removal
Cleaning Black Mold:
Extreme caution should be exercised when attempting to clean up mold. Mold growth from condensation around windows or on bathroom tiles if it is topical in nature and minimal in growth can be cleaned up. Avoid bleaches or chemical biocides since these do not work and cause other environmental problems and health issues. Soapy water or a detergent works very well in cleaning up mold. If the mold growth is on drywall, wood beams, carpeting, insulation, etc, you should have it tested to determine the type, quantity and toxic effects of the mold growth. The cause and extent of the mold problem should also be determined prior to any clean up procedure. Proper care must be taken to protect the individual, occupants as well as the remainder of the building when removing mold.
Disturbing Mold Growth:
Mold growth should be disturbed as little as possible. If mold growth areas are touched, scrubbed, dried out or otherwise disturbed, mold spores may aerosolize and became part of the breathable air. This may cause ingestion and inhalation of potentially toxic mould spores which could lead to a variety of serious health effects.
Avoid Destructive Activities Showing Mold:
Ripping up carpeting, destruction of drywall or any other destructive activities on building materials showing mold growth until you know what you are dealing with. If wall cavities need to be opened for the purposes of testing, this must be done by a qualified professional with minimal damage to the wall itself. Entry points into a wall should be as small as possible (usually no more than 1/2 inch in diameter). All entry points or punctures in a wall suspected of mold growth must be properly sealed afterwards to avoid mold spores from aerosolizing.
The Truth About Biocides:
The use of biocides is not recommended by our company nor by (ACGIH) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist which is a leading body in North America for Occupational and Environmental Safety as well as bioaerosol testing and remediation. Biocides are not an easy fix for mold in buildings even though many manufacturers claim that they are. Biocides kill the viability of the mold spore and can prevent mold growth from spreading. However, biocides do not remove the toxic properties of a mold species. By spraying biocides on mold growth you will only retard mold growth itself. Dead mold spores can have the same toxic properties as viable or living mold spores. The possible toxic health effects are not properly addressed through this method.
Drying Out Mold Causes Serious Health Effects:
Depending on the situation, it is not always advisable to dry out mold growth. By drying out mold growth you are removing part of its sustainability and food source. If a mold species is growing on building materials and the moisture is removed too soon before remediation, mold spores could aerosolize as a natural survival mechanism of the mold itself. Some species of mold like Stachybotrys needs a lot of moisture for growth. As long as it is wet this type of mold does not easily aerosolize. If this type of mold growth is dried out and not immediately removed, it may become aerosolized causing potentially serious health effects.
Ensure that the mold removal contractor is qualified to do the job. Unfortunately, we see all too often where mold is being remediated improperly costing the home owner thousands of dollars due to spreading of mold spores. The most common mistakes contractors make is beginning work with faulty containment in place, improper pressurization, improper decontainment procedures, improper cleaning, and a lack of understanding of aerosolized mold spores. These sites usually result in the return of the mold problem. In many cases it could mean a complete re-clean of the affected area plus additional work of remediating areas that were not originally affected.
Health Risks From Black Mold
Please NOTE: The following information is based on article that is available online ! MOLD-OUT DOES NOT PROVIDE HEALTH ADVICES. Please see your doctor!
There are mold species that are non-toxic and there are mold species that are extremely toxic. Some molds cause allergic reactions and asthma. Certain molds produce toxins (mycotoxins) as a by-product of living.
Short term reactions can include: sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, lethargy, fever, cold and flu symptoms, nose bleeds, digestive problems and joint problems. Long term symptoms can include: dermatitis, impaired immune function, infections, lung damage, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Pulmonary hemosiderosis, ocular disease, deafness, cancer even death.
Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to these contaminants. Mycotoxins are produced by fungi (mold) to give them a competitive edge against other microorganisms including other fungi. There are over 200 recognized m ycotoxins and over 1000 species of molds. Many are harmful to humans when inhaled, ingested or brought into contact with human skin.
Mycotoxins can produce a variety of short term as well as long term health effects.
Aflotxin: is one of the most potent carcinogen known to man and has been linked to a variety of health problems. Aflotoxins are primarily produced by Aspergillus.
Ochratoxin: is primarily produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium. This type of toxin damages the kidneys, liver, immune system and is a suspected carcinogen.
T-2 Toxin: is a tricothecene produced by Fusarium and Stachybotrys and is one of the more deadly toxins. T-2 if ingested in sufficient amounts can severly damage the entire digestive tract, causing rapid death due to internal hemorrhage. T-2 has also been implicated in toxic aleukia, pulmonary hemosiderosis (bleeding of the lungs).
Fumonism: is a toxin associated with Fusarium. Fumonism causes leukoencephalomalcia or liquefaction of the brain in animals. In humans it it has been linked to esophageal cancer.
Vomitoxin: is associated with Fusarium which can cause acute gastrointestinal illness.
Citrinin: is produced by Penicillium and Aspergillus. This toxin can cause renal damage and bronchial constriction.
Satrotoxin H: are mainly produced by Stachybotrys charturum and Trichoderma viridi. High doses or chronic low doses are lethal.
Gliotoxin: is an immunosuppressive toxin produced by Alternaria, Penicillium and Aspergillus.
Patulin: is a mycotxin produced by Penicillium and Aspergillus which causes hemorrhaging in the brain and lungs.
Sterigmatocystin: is produced by Aspergillus versicolor and is considered to be carcinogenic
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