Remove Mold to Preserve Indoor Air Quality

  March 31, 2014

Mold has a broadly known detrimental effect on indoor air quality. Facility occupants are very sensitized to the risks of mold exposure, so facility managers are often well aware of how to keep mold infestation from occurring in the first place and how to remediate the situation. But did you know that it is not enough to kill the mold? According the EPA, dead mold is allergenic and some dead molds are still potentially toxic. Splashing some bleach on the trouble spot (or spots) and calling it a day is not going to cut it, for various reasons.

EPA calls out several steps that must be taken in mold remediation. The EPA does not recommend using a biocide, such as bleach, as chlorine bleach and its ilk have their own detrimental effects on indoor air quality and human health. (However, biocide should be used when the professional judgment of the situation warrants the benefit is greater than the risk, such as when immune-compromised people are involved, says EPA.)

In general, the strategy for remediation recommended by the EPA is to dry out and thoroughly clean the space, dispose of all moldy materials that can't be cleaned and thoroughly clean the tools used in cleanup so you're not just contaminating the space all over again. Achieving an indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent is the goal, as this will limit mold's ability to grow and spread.

EPA proves an in-depth look at mold remediation in commercial properties at http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.


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