Mold in the Workplace
Concern about indoor exposure to mold has increased along with public awareness that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions.
Questions That May Assist in Determining Whether a Mold Problem Currently Exists
- Are building materials or furnishings visibly moisture damaged?
- Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?
- Are there existing moisture problems in the building?
- Are building occupants reporting musty or moldy odors?
- Are building occupants reporting health problems that they think are related to mold in the indoor environment?
- Has the building been recently remodeled or has the building use changed?
- Has routine maintenance been delayed or the maintenance plan been altered?
How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup?
- You must have identified and completely corrected the source of the water or moisture problem.
- Mold removal should be complete. Visible mold, mold-damaged materials, and moldy odors should no longer be present.
- Sampling, if conducted, should show that the level and types of mold and mold spores inside the building are similar to those found outside.
- You should revisit the site(s) after remediation, and it should show no signs of moldy or musty odors, water damage, or mold growth
After correcting water or moisture infiltration, the prompt removal of contaminated material and structural repair is the primary response to mold contamination in buildings. In all situations, the underlying cause of water accumulation must be rectified or the mold growth will reoccur. Emphasis should be placed on preventing contamination through proper building and HVAC system maintenance and prompt repair of water damaged areas.
Effective communication with building occupants is an essential component of all large-scale remediation efforts. The building owner, management, and/or employer should notify occupants in the affected area(s) of the presence of mold. Notification should include a description of the remedial measures to be taken and a timetable for completion. Group meetings held before and after remediation with full disclosure of plans and results can be an effective communication mechanism.
More information can be found at
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