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Mold and Mildew

Prevention Tips

It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

About Mold and Mildew

When moisture problems occur and mold growth results, building occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure.

All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on the types of mold present, the extent of an individual’s exposure, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or allergies.

Mycotoxins

Molds can produce toxic substances called mycotoxins. Some mycotoxins cling to the surface of mold spores; others may be found within spores. More than 200 mycotoxins have been identified from common molds, and many more remain to be identified. Some of the molds that are known to produce mycotoxins are commonly found in moisture-damaged buildings. Exposure pathways for mycotoxins can include inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.

For more information:

EPA page on molds and moisture

http://www.epa.gov/mold/

EPA mold guide

http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

CDC mold page

http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

FEMA guide: Dealing With Mold & Mildew in Your Flood Damaged Home

http://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

Medline Plus mold page

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/molds.html

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences mold page:

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/mold/

Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Indoor Air Quality page:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/environmental-health/exposure-topics/iaq/