Mold

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideTips for a Healthy and Safe Home

Tips for a Healthy and Safe Home

How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?

Mold clean up procedures are somewhat dependent upon the extent of contamination and the type of surface that has been contaminated. Large areas of mold in a building may require the services of a professional contractor skilled in mold removal 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 and remove the mold.

Be sure to discuss any health problem with a health care professional prior to attempting to remove and clean mold 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.

Reviewed on 4/1/2016
References
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. "Mold: Basic Facts." May 22, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm>.

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

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