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ATL
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Atlanta
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ATL
Digi

Atlanta
Digital

 

By Laura Champagne

 

Mold has become an influential buzz word in the media. Many people are concerned about it without any understanding of how it grows and the complications it may cause. When an occupant brings a potential mold concern to your attention, it is advisable to get it tested. Spring allergy symptoms already cause confusion with other illnesses like COVID-19, RSV and the flu. A simple air quality test can save you the headache and arguments due to unknown facts.

When someone is sick, they go to see the doctor. If their condition is inconclusive, the doctor will order bloodwork to gain an understanding of the body’s functions. It’s just as important for a facility executive to treat their business complex, commercial property, or rental unit in the same manner to ensure that it’s safe for occupants. An air test evaluates indoor air quality (IAQ).

Airborne toxins can trigger sinus, respiratory and worse, autoimmune diseases. Reactions can present as allergy-like symptoms, food sensitivity, migraines, skin irritations, depression, fatigue, gastro-intestinal issues, difficulty sleeping, brain fog and confusion and irritability.

mold remediation, indoor air
Potential health and legal problems can be prevented through a simple air quality test.

Although it may seem like these ailments are unrelated, in reality, they are all inflammatory responses. Inflammation occurs when cells travel to a place of injury or foreign contamination and could lead to chronic inflammation. The most significant contributor to a poor indoor environment is biological contaminants and the second is chemicals.

Biological contaminants include pollen, originated from plants, viruses transmitted by people and animals, mold and other fungi, bacteria, pets that produce saliva and dander, droppings and body parts from pests and insects and dried urine from rats and mice. When these biological contaminants are inhaled, they can make people sick. Individuals with a compromised immune system or pre-existing medical condition are more likely to have an extreme reaction to such exposure. For most people, contact with these contaminants simply causes mild sinus or respiratory infection. Unfortunately, there is an increasing percentage of the population that is experiencing a more dramatic inflammatory response. It is imperative to take these claims seriously to avoid costly ramifications.

Potential health and legal problems can be prevented through a simple air quality test. The tests are sent out to a lab for analysis. After the analysis, the lab provides a detailed report, which specifies the different species of fungi and particulates. The results can help determine the source of the contamination. This is an important factor not only in fixing the issue, but also in establishing who is at fault. Air quality tests create a timeline and prove due diligence for the property owner. A knowledgeable resource like Natural Home Solutions can guide you through interpreting the results and help to resolve the issue.

Mold Remediation Solutions

It’s important to note that chemicals are the second leading contributor to poor indoor air quality and also pose an inflammatory risk to many people. Chemicals can be inhaled, and absorbed through the skin, thus exacerbating a person’s physical reaction. It is not advised to attempt to solve one issue by creating another.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and most state departments of public health recommend that property owners do not use a biocide — a chemical like ammonia and chlorine bleach that kills microorganisms — for cleanup because toxic fumes can be produced.

Other harmful agents to avoid in a building’s contamination cleanup effort include:

  • Hydrochloric Acid: may be fatal if swallowed.
  • Naphtha: depresses the central nervous system.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: contact can cause severe damage to eyes, skin, mouth, and throat; can cause liver and kidney damage.
  • Formaldehyde: may shift the balance of chemicals in the brain, which may lead to depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and attention deficit.
  • Sulfuric Acid: may burn the skin. Exposure to concentrated fumes can be carcinogenic.
  • Phthalates:- reduces sperm counts in men.
  • Triclosan: dangerous concentrations of triclosan are found in rivers and streams, where it is toxic to algae. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function. It is a probable carcinogen.
  • Perchloroethylene or “PERC”: neurotoxin that can cause dizziness when inhaled.

mold remediation6 Strategies To Prevent, Resolve Mold In Your Facility

Facility managers must recognize the warning signs of a toxic mold contamination and implement a viable solution for the safety and health of building occupants and visitors. Read more…

Thus, product labels should be read carefully, diligent research on mold removal companies should be conducted, and ideally a company that uses a green, organic formula should be selected. It is extremely concerning that many products contain 99% “other” ingredients. Some cleaning agents even promote a specific use on their labels but in reality, are only diluted down hydrogen peroxide or bleach at an exorbitant cost.

If mold remediation is necessary, make sure to have a maintenance plan in place to prevent any future complications. Air scrubbers can be implemented immediately to remove any particles from the air. Dehumidifiers, ventilation and fans should be used regularly to decrease humidity and increase air flow. Facility executives should look at the big picture to protect their investments and have a long-term solution.

Since a building is only as healthy as its occupants, all aspects of the internal environment should be examined for ongoing profitability and business success.

Indoor Air MOLDLaura Champagne is co-owner of mold removal company Natural Home Solutions, keeping homes and businesses safe from mold contamination through Xspor’s proprietary, organic EnzyCleanse™ solution. The company is comprised of scientists seeking to expand the usage of green, sustainable cleaning solutions for the safety of humans, animals and the environment.  

Read more facility management-related articles about mold contamination and removal.

Facility Executive Magazine