Canadian Mould Standards: Mould in Workplace buildings, Alert 20: ISSN 1195-5228, Produced by Professional and Specialized Services,
Issued: December 2000. This article describes mould (or in the U.S. mold) exposure standards fodr the Canadian workplace.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Mould in Workplace buildings
Mould Hazard Summary:
Workers and the public may be exposed to mould on water-damaged building materials inside buildings, and during building maintenance and repair operations. The most common types of mould are generally not hazardous to healthy individuals–but some moulds may be hazardous to certain individuals.
People who have asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, other allergies, or have weakened immune systems are more likely to react to mould. The most common symptoms are runny nose, eye irritation, skin rash, cough, congestion and aggravation of asthma. Symptoms usually disappear after mould exposure stops. Most often, there are no known long-term consequences to workplace exposures.
Moulds (fungi) are present everywhere–indoors and outdoors.
Any building may have mould. However, buildings with a history of water leaks, floods, fires and problems with indoor air quality (e.g. poor humidity control, lack of fresh air) should be considered at greater risk of mould growth. Water-damaged drywall, wood materials, jute, wallpaper, and cardboard are prone to fungal growth.
All moulds need water to grow. Mould can grow anywhere there is water damage, high humidity or dampness. Most often moulds are confined to areas near the source of water. When mouldy material becomes damaged or disturbed, mould spores can be released into the air. Exposure occurs if people inhale the spores.
The sustained and/or extensive growth of any visible mould on the interior surfaces of a building is unacceptable. Mould growth on the interior surfaces of buildings is a risk factor for health problems.
Moisture problems (flooding, leaks, water intrusion, condensation, etc.) in buildings are the primary reason for mould growth. These moisture problems should be the focus of assessment and control efforts, followed by clean-up, remediation of contaminated materials, periodic inspections, and preventive and remedial maintenance. The Internet resources below contain detailed information. If mould contamination is extensive, the employer should seek professional assistance from private sector consultants who specialize in mould and mould remediation.
Occupants of buildings contaminated with mould should be advised of the presence of the mould and given information on the health effects of mould.
Employers are required by section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act places a responsibility on constructors (section 23), employers (section 25), and supervisors (section 27) to ensure the health and safety of workers. This includes protecting workers from mould in workplace buildings. Various sections of the Industrial, Construction, Mining or Health Care regulations may also apply to maintenance and remediation activities.
Resources on corrective measures, mould remediation and worker training are listed below.
Facts About Stachybotrys Chartarum and Other Molds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health. March 9, 2000. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348, retrieved 7/15/2014, original source: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm.
- Etzel, Ruth A. "Stachybotrys." Current opinion in pediatrics 15, no. 1 (2003): 103-106.
- Green, Brett J., Euan R. Tovey, Jason K. Sercombe, Francoise M. Blachere, Donald H. Beezhold, and Detlef Schmechel. "Airborne fungal fragments and allergenicity." Medical Mycology 44, no. Supplement 1 (2006): S245-S255.
- Green, Brett James, Detlef Schmechel, Jason Kingsley Sercombe, and Euan Roger Tovey. "Enumeration and detection of aerosolized< i> Aspergillus fumigatus</i> and< i> Penicillium chrysogenum</i> conidia and hyphae using a novel double immunostaining technique." Journal of immunological methods 307, no. 1 (2005): 127-134.
- Green, Brett James, Detlef Schmechel, and Euan Roger Tovey. "Detection of aerosolized Alternaria alternata conidia, hyphae, and fragments by using a novel double-immunostaining technique." Clinical and diagnostic laboratory immunology 12, no. 9 (2005): 1114-1116.
- Mitchell, Clifford S., Junfeng Zhang, Torben Sigsgaard, Matti Jantunen, Paul J. Lioy, Robert Samson, and Meryl H. Karol. "Current state of the science: health effects and indoor environmental quality." Environmental Health Perspectives (2007): 958-964.
- Rand, Thomas G., and J. David Miller. "Immunohistochemical and immunocytochemical detection of SchS34 antigen in Stachybotrys chartarum spores and spore impacted mouse lungs." Mycopathologia 165, no. 2 (2008): 73-80.
- Schmechel, Detlef, Janet P. Simpson, Donald Beezhold, and Daniel M. Lewis. "The development of species-specific immunodiagnostics for< i> Stachybotrys chartarum</i>: The role of cross-reactivity." Journal of immunological methods 309, no. 1 (2006): 150-159.
- Vesper, Stephen J., Manju Varma, Larry J. Wymer, Dorr G. Dearborn, John Sobolewski, and Richard A. Haugland. "Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of fungi in dust from homes of infants who developed idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhaging." Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 46, no. 6 (2004): 596-601.
- Yike, Iwona, Anne M. Distler, Assem G. Ziady, and Dorr G. Dearborn. "Mycotoxin adducts on human serum albumin: biomarkers of exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum." Environmental health perspectives (2006): 1221-1226.
Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. New York City Department of Health. April 2000.
Facts About Mold. New York City Department of Health. February 2001.
Health Canada: Fungal Contamination in Public buildings
Fighting Mold. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 1999
After the Flood. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Moulds: Controlling Exposure is Essential. Construction Safety Association of Ontario.
Remember that while complying with occupational health and safety laws, you are also required to comply with applicable environmental laws.
Please photocopy Ministry of Labour Alerts, distribute them widely and post them where people will see them.
Continue reading at MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
MOLD LEVEL REPORTING
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Click to Show or Hide FAQs
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Technical Reviewers & References
Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman
Click to Show or Hide Citations & References
- Thanks to Lisa at "The Humanity Campaign", Chapel Hill NC, USA, Website: humanitycampaign.org, for broken link editing 7/15/2014.
The mission of The Humanity Campaign, Inc. is to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by increasing access to education, healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurial opportunity.
- Mould in Workplace buildings, Alert 20: ISSN 1195-5228,
Produced by Professional and Specialized Services
Issued: December 2000 Canada: Ontario Ministry of Labour, Health and Safety, Publications and Alerts, original web citation: www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/alerts/a20.html
Listing submissions are welcome from websites whose content, services, or products are appropriate for our readers. To provide your link exchange information and our link exchange policy see InspectAPedia.com - Directory Listing & Link Exchange Instructions There are no listing fees & no conflicts of interest. We reserve the right to list or not list individuals or companies and to provide notice of consumer compliments or complaintsThe design and content found at InspectAPedia.com® are © Copyright protected, All Rights Reserved. Contents of this website may not be copied in any form. Our main website topics listed at page top or at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article provide in-depth, un-biased, expert information on building defect inspection,
diagnosis, & repair.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
- Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto, have provided us with (and we recommend) Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates' Technical Reference Guide to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
- Environmental Health & Investigation Bibliography - our technical library on indoor air quality inspection, testing, laboratory procedures, forensic microscopy, etc.
- Adkins and Adkins Dictionary of Roman Religion discusses Robigus, the Roman god of crop protection and the legendary progenitor of wheat rust fungus.
- Kansas State University, department of plant pathology, extension plant pathology web page on wheat rust fungus: see http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Wheat/Wheat%20Leaf%20Rust.asp
- "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home",
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
- US EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [Copy on file at /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
- US EPA - Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
Allergies, Allergens, Allergy Testing in buildings - References & Products
- Air Conditioning System Blower Fans & Filters Cascading for Optimum Indoor Air Quality
- Allergen Tests in buildings advice about how to test, what to look for, in evaluating the level of dog, cat, or other animal allergens in a building
- "IgG Food Allergy Testing by ELISA/EIA, What do they really tell us?" Sheryl B. Miller, MT (ASCP), PhD, Clinical Laboratory Director, Bastyr University Natural Health Clinic - ELISA testing accuracy: Here is an example of Miller's critique of ELISA
http://www.betterhealthusa.com/public/282.cfm - Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
The critique included in that article raises compelling questions about IgG testing assays, which prompts our interest in actually screening for the presence of high levels of particles that could carry allergens - dog dander or cat dander in the case at hand.
http://www.tldp.com/issue/174/IgG%20Food%20Allergy.html contains similar criticism in another venue but interestingly by the same author, Sheryl Miller. Sheryl Miller, MT (ASCP), PhD, is an Immunologist and Associate Professor of Basic and Medical Sciences at Bastyr University in Bothell, Washington. She is also the Laboratory Director of the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic Laboratory.
- Allergens: Testing for the level of exposure to animal allergens is discussed at http://www.animalhealthchannel.com/animalallergy/diagnosis.shtml (lab animal exposure study is interesting because it involves a higher exposure level in some cases
- Allergens: WebMD discusses allergy tests for humans at webmd.com/allergies/allergy-tests
- Animal Allergens: Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Cleanup & Prevention Information for Asthmatics and regarding Indoor Air Quality.
- Atlas of Mold Related Illness Symptoms & Complaints - long list of both documented, studied mold related illness, and complaints ascribed to mold contamination or allergens in buildings
- Cat Dander: how to inspect and test a building for past or current presence of cats, cat hair, cat dander, and cat allergens
- Clinical Atlas of Mold Toxicity - An Online Description of Toxic, Pathogenic, Allergenic Fungi, Fungal Diseases
- Fiberglass Insulation Contains Mold© 2005 comments about a field study in process, & more about health hazards from fiberglass insulation
- Humidity: What indoor humidity should we maintain in order to avoid a mold problem?
- Mold Action Guide detailed guide on finding, removing, and preventing indoor mold contamination
- Odors, Odor Detection, Smells, & Gases how to find and identify sources of noxious or toxic odors and gases
- Other environmental risks, Our much longer list: Asbestos, carbon monoxide, electromagnetic fields, etc.
- Ozone: The Use of Ozone Indoors for Control of Odors and Mold
Removal in buildings: A Summary of Hazards and False Claims.
- Pollen Allergens: identification, plant pollen and indoor air quality
- Products to Reduce Mold & Allergy Problems to reduce indoor mold or allergen levels: air cleaners, air purifiers, dust mite covers, vacuum cleaners, crawl space vents
- Recognizing Allergens: What various indoor allergens look like - identification photos to help identify pollen, dust mites, animal dander, toxic or allergenic mold - Common Mold and other Allergens, Irritants, Remedies & Advice
- Rodent control issues, including dander, fecal, and urine contamination of buildings and Building insulation are discussed at our
- Sewage and Septic backup contamination in buildings: inspection, testing, remediation, & references to expert sources
- Action Guide: What to do about mold, mildew, and other indoor allergens
Mold Contamination Testing, Cleanup, Prevention: references & products
- The Mold Information Center: What to Do About Mold in buildings, When and How
to Inspect for Mold, Clean Up Mold, or Avoid Mold Problems
- Aerobiology, Building Science, Microscopy, & Laboratory References, an extensive technical bibliography
- Allergens: what they look like in buildings
- Associations: Sick House, Sick Building, SBS - Air Quality, Government, Private Associations and Information Resources
- Atlas of Clinical Fungi, 2nd Ed., GS deHoog, J Guarro, J Gene, & MJ Figueras, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, 2000, ISBN 90-70351-43-9 (you can buy this book at Amazon) - The Atlas of Clinical Fungi is also available on CD ROM
- Atlas of Mold Related Illness: Index of Symptoms and health, physical, neurological, psychological, and other complaint which people suspect may be mold or building-related.
- Atlas of Indoor Mold, Online Clinical Mold Atlas, Toxins, Pathogens, Allergens and Other Indoor Particles - Medical Health Effects of Mold (separate online document)
- Black Mold that is Harmless Photos of recognizable, usually harmless black mold on wood, bluestain, ceratocystis, ophistoma
- Building Floods: quick steps after a building flood or plumbing leak can prevent costly mold contamination
- Classes of Mold: what types of cosmetic, allergenic, or toxic mold are a problem? Can mold be cleaned-up successfully?
- Clinical Mold References - Detailed bibliography of mold reference texts
- "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
- "Disease Prevention Program for Certain Vegetable Crops," David B. Langston, Jr., Extension Plant Pathologist - Vegetables, University of Georgia (PDF document) original source: www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/209797.html
- "Disease Prevention in Home Vegetable Gardens,"
Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology,
Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri Extension - extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6202
- "Management of Powdery Mildew, Leveillula taurica, in Greenhouse Peppers," Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, British Columbia - Original source: www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/peppermildew.htm
- Environmental Health & Investigation Bibliography - our own technical library on indoor air quality inspection, testing, laboratory procedures, forensic microscopy, etc.
- Fiberglass: Mold in Fiberglass Insulation© 2005 comments about a field study in process, & more about health hazards from fiberglass insulation - DJF
- Fifth Kingdom, Bryce Kendrick, ISBN13: 9781585100224, is available from the InspectAPedia online bookstore - we recommend the CD-ROM version of this book. This 3rd/edition is a compact but comprehensive encyclopedia of all things mycological. Every aspect of the fungi, from aflatoxin to zppspores, with an accessible blend of verve and wit. The 24 chapters are filled with up-to-date information of classification, yeast, lichens, spore dispersal, allergies, ecology, genetics, plant pathology, predatory fungi, biological control, mutualistic symbioses with animals and plants, fungi as food, food spoilage and mycotoxins.
- Fungi, Identifying Filamentous, A Clinical Laboratory Handbook, Guy St-Germain, Richard Summerbell, Star Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-89863-177-7 (English) (buy at Amazon)
- MOLD in BUILDINGS Procedure: what mold is often found where in buildings - simple technical presentation
- Meruliporia: the house eating fungus or "poria"
- MOLD ACTION GUIDE Step-by-Step Instructions, What to do about mold, mildew, and other indoor allergens
- MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE Photos of what mold looks like in buildings
- MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD Photos of NOT-mold material that is sometimes mistaken for mold
- MOLD ATLAS & PARTICLES INDEX, Pathogens, Allergens and Other Indoor Particles - Medical Health Effects of Mold (separate online document)
- MOLD BY MICROSCOPE Mold under the microscope - photo identification of the most common indoor molds found in buildings
- Mold FAQs Answers to Most Questions about Indoor Mold, Mold Related Illness, Mold Cleanup, Mold Prevention
- US EPA: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [Copy on file at /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
- Mold spores in the Home - a Photo ID Library for detection and identification of mold allergens
- Mold Test Kits - How to Collect and Send Your Own Mold Sample to our mold testing lab or to any mold lab you wish
- Most Common Indoor Molds Found in buildings, A Table of
- Mycology, Fundamentals of Diagnostic, Fran Fisher, Norma B. Cook, W.B. Saunders Co. 1998, ISBN 0-7216-5006-6 (buy this book at Amazon)
- Ozone Warnings - Use of Ozone as a "mold" remedy is ineffective and may be dangerous.
- Rot concerns in buildings-some building mold such as Meruliporia incrassata "Poria" risks serious rot and hidden structural damage
- US EPA: Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold
cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.
- Fiberglass building insulation and HVAC duct work insulation hazards
- Sewage and Septic backup contamination in buildings: inspection, testing, remediation, & references to expert sources
- Other environmental risks: Asbestos, carbon monoxide,
electromagnetic fields, environmental illness, fiberglass, MCS - multiple chemical sensitivity, toxic gases, etc
- Indoor Gas Sampling Plan
for Residential buildings lists a number of toxic indoor gases which we test for, depending on the building
complaint and building conditions
- Ozone Warnings - Use of Ozone as a "mold"
remedy is ineffective and may be dangerous.
- Pet control - if you can't say goodbye to your bird, cat, dog, guinea pig, hamster, tropical fish, then limit the
areas they occupy and limit the airflow from that area to sleeping or other areas of the building, use allergenic
bedding, eliminate wall-to-wall carpeting, improve housecleaning including use of a HEPA-rated vacuum cleaner. For more details
see our article Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Information for Asthmatics and Indoor Air Quality
- Rodents, Mice, Squirrel Control - I find high levels of mouse and rodent dander, fecal dust, and urine-contaminated dust in some buildings,
and high levels of these materials in building insulation in those locations. If you have a mouse problem, particularly if mice and their waste (fecals or urine) are contaminating
the building HVAC or building insulation, may need both steps to clean up or remove infected materials and steps to stop an ongoing
rodent problem. If squirrels are a problem, the cleanup needs to include closing off entry openings into the building. Get some
help from a licensed pest control expert.