Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, May 15, 2019
Mold can grow indoors with moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source. Mold reproduces by creating tiny spores, that usually require magnification to be seen. About 1000 species of mold can be found in the United States, all of which can be grown without sunlight with the presence of a viable seed, nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature.
Mold is often found in damp, dark, hidden spaces, and can grow on virtually any substance. Indoor mold should be avoided, as mold will eat away at building materials including wood, carpet, walls and insulation. Most indoor air exposures to mold don’t present a risk of health effects, but some people can experience allergic reactions or asthma attacks, and mold can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, and throat.
How to Control & Prevent Mold
How to Determine Whether a Mold Problem Currently Exists
If mold is found, you will need to develop a remediation process to safely and effectively remove the mold damaged materials. When planning the remediation, you should assess the extent of the mold problem and note the type of damaged materials. Any outside contractors that are hired should have experience with mold remediation and should follow the recommendations in the EPA’s publication “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.”
The remediation plan should involve finding a way to permanently correct the water or moisture problem to avoid future problems with mold. The plan should also include steps to contain and remove moldy building materials, including a way to properly dispose of them.
PPE including skin and eye protection, protective clothing, and respiratory protection should be worn during any remediation work that will disturb mold and cause mold spores to become airborne. OSHA has released a safety and health information bulletin that outlines information about mold in the workplace, but does not have a standard devoted to the control and prevention of mold.
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