In recent years, significant publicity has surrounded the detrimental effects of mold and bacteria contamination on human health. Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that are found virtually everywhere. However, when excessive mold growth occurs, exposure to individuals becomes potentially harmful, and in extreme cases, toxic. Exposure to molds and bacteria in indoor environments can result in a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to: respiratory problems, nausea, sinus congestion, chronic fatigue, skin irritation, and possible fever. The only way to effectively resolve indoor mold problems is to eliminate the source (water intrusion) and expertly remove all traces of the mold.

Having recognized that excess amounts of mold and bacteria growth are a problem, what actions can be taken to remediate and prevent recurrence? Envirostar offers a wide variety of consulting services for elimination of mold and mold-related problems. We perform our tasks with integrity and professionalism. Our team is professionally trained and OSHA and HAZMAT certified to handle all your indoor air quality needs.

Envirostar can assist you with inspection, assessment, specifications and remediation of fungal contamination. Envirostar’s expert work force has a long-standing and excellent reputation with environmental agencies and insurance companies. We maintain close contact with local municipalities in which we work, insuring full compliance with all laws, regulations and client needs.

Although there are no regulated remediation procedures or sampling guidelines, the New York City Department of Health has published a recommended guideline for the removal of mold. There are many aspects to the process (site survey, photos, etc…), but if broken down to the basics, there are nine steps.

  1. Establish containment: Isolate the infected area so that further contamination is avoided.
  2. Control air inside and outside of containment: Use negative air pressure in containment so that no air escapes and further contamination is avoided.
  3. Control spore levels within infected areas.
  4. Employ proper personal protective equipment and decontamination procedures.
  5. Remove moldy materials.
  6. Properly clean infected surfaces
  7. Properly handle waste materials
  8. Conduct Clearance testing
  9. Properly use and maintain equipment.

 

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Hazards of Mold

Fungus (mold) is defined as any of a major group of saprophytic (feeding on dead matter) and parasitic lower plants that lack chlorophyll.

Fungi (mold) and bacteria grow in moist environments in the presence of suitable substrates that provide the necessary nutrients. Gypsum wallboard, ceiling tile and insulation materials are some of the suitable substrates that fungi infest. In all situations, the underlying cause of mold is the accumulation of water. If water accumulation is not rectified, fungal growth will recur. HVAC systems should be cleaned and maintained whenever an active growth and contamination is found.

Molds reproduce by sending out spores, which are a seed like structure that in many cases can become, easily airborne. These microscopic seeds are transported in many ways. Airborne spores are present in the wind and enter the house just as dust particles do: through windows, doors, on clothing, pets etc. Indoor sources are of concern to all. Once a small colony is established, the mold sporulates and cannot be dispersed as it can outdoors.

To prevent the reoccurrence of elevated mold levels, crawl spaces should be deprived of moisture conducive to mold growth. Dehumidification is a recommended option to remove moisture. Alternatively, germicidal lamps can be purchased and used to minimize mold growth.

The center for disease control considers that any visible mold growth is unacceptable “it must be removed”. A single mold species can produce more than one mycotoxin (by-products of metabolism, gasses given off by colonies and spores) and the same mycotoxin can be produced by more than one species of mold. Even non-viable (dead) spores and molds are known to give off mycotoxins.

Effects of these mycotoxins can range from a dry cough to infection of the lungs. In the most severe circumstance, death can occur to those with weakened immune systems or infants.