5 June 2003
PREVENTION AND ASSESSMENT
INTRODUCTION. This guide provides information to individuals
who have little or no experience with mold remediation. It will help those in
charge of maintenance to develop or evaluate an in-house remediation plan or
evaluate a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor.
Perform all work following the recommendations presented in this
document, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines and/or guidelines
of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH).
Consult Safety and Health professionals and/or Industrial Hygienists prior to any
BACKGROUND. Concern about indoor exposure to mold is
increasing as the public becomes more aware that exposure to mold can cause a
variety of negative health impacts, including allergic reactions. This document
provides the best and most current guidance for remediation of clean water
damage (response within 48 hours) and mold contamination (response more
than 48 hours).
Mold reproduces with tiny spores. Mold spores float through indoor
and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may
begin growing and digesting the material's surface in order to survive. Molds can
grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water
accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture
problem remains undiscovered or uncorrected. There is no practical way to
eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment, however the way
to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
Common indoor molds are:
In all situations, the underlying cause of water accumulation
must be rectified or mold growth will recur. Stop initial water infiltration and
begin clean up immediately. An immediate response (within 24 to 48 hours) and
thorough clean up, drying, and/or removal of water damaged materials will
prevent or limit mold growth. Ensure proper repairs of the building infrastructure
so that water damage and moisture buildup does not recur.