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BIBLIOGAPHY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
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CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
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MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
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OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
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How to use a flashlight or other light to spot building contaminants on surfaces. If you don't know exactly how to aim your flashlight you won't see important, possibly toxic, light-colored molds. In this mold testing article we tell you how to use your light effectively look for hard-to-spot mold growth.This document describes how to make proper use of the level of light and direction of light to find mold and test for mold in buildings. This mold detection procedure helps identify the presence of or locate the probable sources of mold reservoirs in buildings, and helps decide which of these need more invasive, exhaustive inspection and testing. The fact that mold is "hidden" or hard to spot on some surfaces in buildings does not mean you cannot find it. Also see UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
How and where you shine light is of crucial importance when looking for mold in buildings. Light-colored mold such as some members of the Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. groups are often the dominant problem-mold in buildings but these offenders are often missed by a casual inspection because they can be hard to see on surfaces.
You need a bright flashlight and as simple as this seems, you need to know how to use it.
Shine the flashlight along the surface being examined, not straight at the surface. If you shine the light directly at the surface being inspected you may not see a thing. As you'll see in the mold photographs shown here, using your light carefully can make a big difference in what mold you find and where you find it.
We inspect for any mold growing on building surfaces. White, gray, light green, red, yellow, or other colored-molds may be allergenic or toxic. Looking only for "black mold" touted in the popular press risks missing the most important mold in a building.
Some black molds such as the Ceratocystis/Ophistoma group are simply cosmetic. Other toxic black molds such as Stachybotrys chartarum are rarely airborne unless mechanically disturbed such as by demolition.
These "toxic black molds", especially if the genera/species are heavy, sticky, not-normally-airborne mold spores (Stachybotrys chartarum is an example) may actually affect building occupants less than highly-airborne but small, light-colored, hard to see mold spores such as members of the Aspergillus sp. family.
Finally, finding any mold growing on building surfaces is an indicator of mold-friendly conditions and means, in turn, that other non-black but still highly-toxic or allergenic problem mold genera/species might be present. So it's usually reasonable to interpret any mold we see in a building as evidence of mold-conducive conditions which may, in turn, justify further investigation.
The point of these illustrations of using light to help look for mold in buildings is to demonstrate that "hidden mold", like the purloined letter, may in fact be hiding in plain view - you just don't know how to see it.
Recent news articles have made some people terrified at the mere mention of "toxic black mold" such as "Stachybotrys chartarum." Actually it is common to find Stachybotrys chartarum in small amounts in houses where there has been prolonged leakage or water entry. It's a toxic mold that should be removed.
But don't assume that anything and everything black on a building wall is a highly toxic mold.Some black stuff is not mold at all. Other common mold species look black but may be of low or no toxicity. For example, Chaetomium globosum™has been reported to be allergenic rather than toxic. Cladosporium sphaerospermum is often found growing indoors on bathroom tile or refrigerator gaskets. It's a member of the most common mold family, Cladosporium, the "universal fungus." It can look pretty "black" on some surfaces.
Can you tell what genera or species a mold is that's growing on a surface just by the naked eye? No. Though I've inspected and tested so many molds on so many surfaces that like a bird watcher, I know what's likely to be present in a given habitat. (Refrigerator gasket mold is usually a Cladosporium, often C. sphaerospermum and mold growing on window muntins will be a genera/species tolerant of UV light. A normal person can't do this.
You cannot determine the mold genera and species just by looking at it on the wall, and please skip those do-it-yourself mold test kits. The methods the kits use are fundamentally inaccurate and in a few cases so are their laboratories. For small mold problems, spend your money on some soap and water instead.
For larger mold contamination problems (more than 30 square feet) you should hire an expert to survey your home, or send your own mold sample to a competent testing laboratory. The services of an experienced mycologist or aerobiologist are necessary to know what you've got. (C)DJF Copyright protection trap.(C)Daniel Friedman
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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.