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    Posted by Sharon on 6/14/10

    Yes, Sue. Thank you so much for everything you have done to
    help others who have been caught up in the nightmare of in this
    issue. Good to know that you are out there, working hard to
    help add legitimacy to their words of just how sick mold can
    make people and why it is important that public health policy
    needs to change from "the notion toxic mold is an insidious
    secret killer as so many trial lawyers and media would claim is
    junk science unsupported by actual scientific study" to
    appropriate CDC and other Federal agency advisories of the true


    On 6/14/10, Deborah wrote:
    > thanks Susan Brinchman.
    > On 6/13/10, Susan wrote:
    >> WEBSITE
    >> DAMP BUILDING.(Susan Brinchman, Director, Center for School
    >> Mold Help,
    >> ----------------------------------------
    >> NIOSH
    >> Workplace Safety and Health Topics
    >> Industries & Occupations
    >> Indoor Environmental Quality
    >> Dampness and Mold in Buildings
    >> On this Page:
    >> What is Mold?
    >> "Toxic Mold" & Stachybotyrs chartarum
    >> Remediation of dampness and mold contamination
    >> I suspect mold in my workplace. How do I test for mold?
    >> Symptoms related to dampness and mold
    >> What workers can do?
    >> What management and building owners can do
    >> Resources
    >> References
    >> Dampness results from water incursion either from internal
    >> sources (e.g. leaking pipes) or external sources (e.g.
    >> rainwater). Dampness becomes a problem when various
    >> materials in buildings (e.g., rugs, walls, ceiling tiles)
    >> become wet for extended periods of time. Excessive moisture
    >> in the air (i.e., high relative humidity) that is not
    >> properly controlled with air conditioning can also lead to
    >> excessive dampness. Flooding causes dampness. Dampness is a
    >> problem in buildings because it provides the moisture that
    >> supports the growth of bacteria, fungi (i.e., mold), and
    >> insects.
    >> In the presence of damp building materials the source of
    >> water incursion is often readily apparent (e.g., leaks in
    >> the roof or windows or a burst pipe). However, dampness
    >> problems can be less obvious when the affected materials
    >> and water source are hidden from view (e.g., wet insulation
    >> within a ceiling or wall; excessive moisture in the
    >> building foundation due to the slope of the surrounding
    >> land).
    >> What is mold?
    >> Mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various
    >> kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many
    >> different mold species that come in many different colors.
    >> Molds are sometimes referred to as mildew. They are found
    >> both indoors and outdoors in all climates, during all
    >> seasons of the year. Outdoors, molds survive by using
    >> plants and decaying organic matter such as fallen leaves as
    >> a source of nutrition. Indoors, molds need moisture to grow
    >> as well as a carbon source from building materials or
    >> building contents.
    >> Excess moisture is generally the cause of indoor mold
    >> growth. Molds reproduce by releasing tiny spores that float
    >> through the air until landing in other locations. When they
    >> settle on wet or moist surfaces, the spores can form new
    >> mold colonies. Moderate temperatures and available nutrient
    >> sources make most office buildings ideal for mold growth.
    >> Recent media attention has increased public awareness and
    >> concern over exposure to molds in the workplace. While this
    >> may seem to be a new problem, exposure to molds has
    >> actually occurred throughout history. In fact, the types of
    >> molds found in office buildings are not rare or even
    >> unusual. It is important to understand that no indoor space
    >> is completely free from mold spores – not even a surgical
    >> operating room. Molds are everywhere, making our exposure
    >> to molds unavoidable, whether indoors or outdoors, at home
    >> or at work.
    >> "Toxic Mold" & Stachybotyrs chartarum
    >> Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce
    >> toxins (mycotoxins), but the molds themselves are not
    >> toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may
    >> produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other
    >> common molds which can grow in your house or workplace.
    >> Contradicting research results exist regarding whether
    >> toxigenic mold found indoors causes unique or rare health
    >> conditions such as bleeding in the lungs. Research is
    >> ongoing in this area.
    >> Mold growing in buildings, whether it is Stachybotrys
    >> chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) or another mold, indicates
    >> that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the
    >> first problem that needs to be addressed.
    >> Remediation of dampness and mold contamination
    >> First and foremost, determine the source of moisture and
    >> take appropriate measures to make repairs. Damp or wet
    >> building materials and furnishings as a result of leaks or
    >> flooding should be dried within 24 to 48 hours to prevent
    >> the growth of mold. Mold can be cleaned and removed from
    >> hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or
    >> a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1
    >> gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other
    >> household cleaners. Mold in or under carpets typically
    >> requires that the carpets be removed. Once mold starts to
    >> grow in insulation or wallboard, the only way to deal with
    >> the problem is removal and replacement. (CDC- Facts about
    >> Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds) For complete
    >> remediation guidelines go to the New York City Department
    >> of Health and Hygiene’s Guidelines on Assessment and
    >> Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments at
    >> For "green"
    >> environmentally friendly cleaning solutions, go to
    >> Greenguard Environmental Institute at
    >> I suspect mold in my workplace. How do I test for mold?
    >> CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds.
    >> Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of
    >> mold growing in a building. Measurements of mold in air are
    >> not reliable or representative. If mold is seen or smelled,
    >> there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what
    >> type of mold is present, you should arrange for its
    >> removal. Furthermore, sampling for mold can be expensive,
    >> and standards for judging what is and what is not an
    >> acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been
    >> established.
    >> Symptoms related to dampness and mold
    >> Health problems associated with excessive damp conditions
    >> and mold include:
    >> Allergic responses like those to pollen or animal dander
    >> are the most common types of health problems related to
    >> mold. Typical symptoms include sneezing; irritation of the
    >> nose, mouth, or throat; nasal stuffiness and runny nose;
    >> and red, itchy or watery eyes. Inhaling or touching mold or
    >> mold spores can cause a person who was not previously
    >> allergic to mold to become allergic to mold. For people
    >> with known allergies, molds can trigger asthma symptoms
    >> such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough. Irritation
    >> can also occur in non-allergenic (non-sensitized) people.
    >> Additionally, scientific studies indicate that exposure to
    >> molds in the workplace can make pre-existing asthma worse.
    >> Recent NIOSH investigations document that some damp
    >> buildings are associated with developing new asthma.
    >> Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a kind of lung
    >> inflammation that occurs in persons who develop immune
    >> system sensitization (similar to an allergy) to inhaled
    >> organic dust. It can be mistaken for pneumonia, but it does
    >> not get better with antibiotics for infection.
    >> Symptoms of HP can vary. Some persons have shortness of
    >> breath, cough, muscle aches, chills, fever, night sweats,
    >> and profound fatigue. These symptoms usually first appear 2
    >> to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other
    >> affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and
    >> cough, as well as weight loss. Work-relatedness may only
    >> become apparent over long holidays if symptoms resolve and
    >> then recur on return to work. With continued exposure, the
    >> persistent lung inflammation of both kinds of symptoms can
    >> lead to scarring and permanent damage. The slow progression
    >> of symptoms and the persistence of symptoms away from work
    >> may result in delayed recognition of work-related lung
    >> disease by both workers and physicians.
    >> HP has been referred to as Bird breeder’s lung and Mushroom
    >> picker’s disease in specific occupations with a risk of HP
    >> from biological dusts. HP has been documented in workers in
    >> buildings with mold and bacteria contaminated air-
    >> conditioners (including spray-water cooling systems), and
    >> contaminated ductwork and filters. This lung disease has
    >> also occurred in workers who worked in water-damaged
    >> buildings with roof leaks, plumbing leaks, poorly draining
    >> condensation pans, and high indoor relative humidity.
    >> HP is not contagious and is due to a person’s immune system
    >> reaction to inhaled microorganisms, whether dead or alive.
    >> It is possible for workers to have both dampness-related HP
    >> and asthma at the same time. Additionally, workplaces that
    >> have workers with HP may also have workers with building-
    >> related asthma.
    >> ASTHMA
    >> Asthma is a form of lung disease in which the airways
    >> develop inflammation and bronchospasm (reversible
    >> narrowing) in response to sensitizing or irritating
    >> exposure. Affected individuals can experience episodes of
    >> shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, and wheezing.
    >> These symptoms occur after exposure to nonspecific
    >> irritating substances in the air or after exposure to
    >> substances to which an individual is allergic. Medical
    >> testing typically reveals evidence of bronchial
    >> hyperresponsiveness such as an abnormal methacholine
    >> challenge test or reversible airways obstruction on
    >> spirometry (a test of lung function). It is important for
    >> affected individuals to have a comprehensive asthma
    >> treatment plan and regular follow-up with their physician.
    >> Early diagnosis and removal from the impacted damp office
    >> environment can cure asthma caused by workplace exposures.
    >> In approximately 15&37; of asthmatics, the illness may have
    >> been caused, or made worse, by workplace exposures. Some
    >> occupational exposures are well known risks for asthma
    >> development (e.g., western red cedar; isocyanates). Indoor
    >> environment research has identified evidence of an
    >> association between damp buildings and asthma symptoms in
    >> individuals with pre-existing asthma. There is also new
    >> evidence of an association between damp buildings and new-
    >> onset asthma. In an individual with new-onset asthma or
    >> worsening of stable pre-existing asthma, measurements of
    >> lung function made several times a day at work and at home
    >> over several weeks may reveal a pattern of changing lung
    >> function that suggests a workplace cause.
    >> For individuals with new-onset asthma or worsening of
    >> stable pre-existing asthma that is suspected to be related
    >> to the indoor environment, controlling or eliminating the
    >> sources of indoor contaminants, along with optimal medical
    >> treatment, may lead to symptoms of improvement or
    >> resolution.
    >> What workers can do
    >> When workers suspect their health problems are caused by
    >> exposure to building-related mold and dampness, workers
    >> should:
    >> Report concerns immediately to supervisors or those persons
    >> responsible for building maintenance
    >> See your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment
    >> Ask your doctor whether you should be medically restricted
    >> from the affected environment
    >> What management and building owners can do
    >> When health problems are believed to be caused by exposure
    >> to mold in the workplace, owners and managers should:
    >> Advise workers to see their doctor for proper diagnosis and
    >> treatment
    >> Evaluate the work area for evidence of mold and dampness
    >> Repair leaks and remediate water damaged materials
    >> Communicate with workers about areas of the building with
    >> evidence of mold or moisture damage and provide the status
    >> of remediation plans
    >> Arrange for relocation of workers whose doctors restrict
    >> them from the implicated work environments
    >> Resources
    >> Facts About Mold - American Industrial Hygiene Association
    >> (AIHA)
    >> Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold
    >> Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association 2008.
    >> ISBN 978-1-931504-91-1
    >> Facts About Mold and Dampness - Centers for Disease Control
    >> and Prevention (CDC)
    >> Mold Resources - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    >> Damp Indoor Spaces and Health - Institute of Medicine (IOM)
    >> Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Indoor Workplace -
    >> Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    >> Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor
    >> Environments - New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH)
    >> References
    >> Brandt M, Brown C, Burkhart J, Burton N, Cox Ganser J,
    >> Damon S, Falk H, Fridkin S, Garbe P, McGeehin M, Morgan J,
    >> Page E, Rao C, Redd S, Sinks T, Trout D, Wallingford K,
    >> Warnock D, Weissman D. Mold prevention strategies and
    >> possible health effects in the aftermath of hurricanes and
    >> major floods. MMWR. 2006 June; 55(RR-8):1-27.
    >> Cox-Ganser JM, White SK, Jones R, Hilsbos K, Storey E,
    >> Enright PL, Rao CY, Kreiss K. Respiratory Morbidity in
    >> Office Workers in a Water-Damaged Building. Environ Health
    >> Perspect. 2005 April; 113(4): 485-490.
    >> Fink JN, Ortega HG, Reynolds HY, Cormier YF, et al. Needs
    >> and Opportunities for Research in Hypersensitivity
    >> Pneumonitis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical
    >> Care Medicine, 2005 April 1.
    >> Hoffman RE, Wood RC, Kreiss K. [1993]. Building-related
    >> asthma in Denver office workers. Am J Public Health 83:89-
    >> 93. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 April; 113(4): 485-490.
    >> Park J, Cox-Ganser J, Rao C, Kreiss K. Fungal and endotoxin
    >> measurements in dust associated with respiratory symptoms
    >> in a water-damaged office building. Indoor Air 2006 Jun;
    >> 16:192-203.
    >> Park JH, Cox-Ganser JM, Kreiss K, White SK, Rao CY.
    >> Hydrophilic fungi and ergosterol associated with
    >> respiratory illness in a water-damaged building. Environ
    >> Health Perspect. 2008 Jan; 116(1):45-50.
    >> Sahakian NM, White SK, Park JH, Cox-Ganser JM, Kreiss K.
    >> Identification of mold and dampness-associated respiratory
    >> morbidity in 2 schools: comparison of questionaire survey
    >> responses to national data. J Sch Health. 2008 Jan; 78
    >> (1):32-37.
    >> Page updated June 1, 2010

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