Mold Exposure (cont.)

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How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?

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Mold cleanup procedures are somewhat dependent upon the extent of contamination and the type of surface that has been contaminated. Large areas of mold may require the services of a professional contractor who is skilled in mold cleanup and remediation. Hard surfaces that harbor mold may be scrubbed with detergent and water, and these should be dried completely. Porous or absorbent materials (such as cloth, ceiling tiles, carpets, etc.) may have to be discarded if they become moldy. In some cases, a dilute solution of chlorine bleach (no stronger than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) or stronger commercial cleaners may be needed to kill the mold.

Be sure to discuss any health concerns with a health-care professional prior to attempting mold removal if sensitive to molds. When washing with soap and water, rubber gloves are recommended, but for bleach and harsher cleaning agents, nonporous gloves (for example, natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC) should be worn along with protective eyewear. Wearing an N-95 respirator (available at many hardware stores) can further limit exposure to airborne mold or spores when cleaning. Avoid touching moldy surfaces with bare hands.

After mold removal, it is important to prevent further regrowth of mold by keeping affected areas as dry as possible.

REFERENCES:

"Adverse Human Health Effects Associated With Molds in the Indoor Environment." American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Feb. 24, 2011. <http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.h7g5iNu7.dpuf>.

"Damp Indoor Spaces and Health." Institute of Medicine. May 25, 2004. <http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Damp-Indoor-Spaces-and-Health.aspx>.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Environmental Hazards and Health Effects: Mold." Feb. 27, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/mold/basics.htm>.

U.S. Environmental Protection Association (EPA). "Molds and Moisture." July 25, 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/mold/>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/16/2014

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