Mold/Fungi – the unwanted free loader
Ever notice the pink or yellow spots on the vinyl wall
covering on the interior face of the wall? Pull back the vinyl
and you will find black mold and mushy drywall. The pink spots
are literally mold vomit. Feeding mold exudes digestive
enzymes that react with the plasticizers.
Prolonged moisture buildup and available food sources in
buildings create the ultimate environment for mold growth. The
composite materials we use today have adhesives that can be
digested by fungi we call molds. Mold will also digest sugars
and starches in wood fiber, if the cell walls have been
crushed or broken. Solid lumber has intact cell walls that
cannot be penetrated by molds. Molds will grow on the surface,
but the wood will retain its structural strength. Particle
board, oriented-strand board (OSB), medium density fiberboard
and paper-covered gypsum board, are full of adhesives, which
make them good “mold chow”.
Aeroallergenic fungi such as Cladosporium. Penicillium,
Aspergillus, Epicoccum, Chaetomium, Fusarium, Stachybotrys, as
well as bacterial agents such as bacillus are routinely
isolated in minor quantities from Florida inside air samples.
Cladosporium has a low potential for causing health problems.
Penicillium have been reported to be responsible for
hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Aspergillus has been associated
with three distinct illnesses. These include allergic broncho-pulmonary
asporgillosis, pulmonary aspergilloma and invasive
aspergillosis. Epicoccum is a common allergen and normally
considered a contaminant. Chaetomium is occasionally
implicated in cutaneous phaeohyphomycosis, but commonly
considered a contaminant. Fusarium is a known agent of mycotic
eye infections and occasionally involved in skin and nail
infections. Stachybotrysatra may produce toxins which are
present in the spores.
properly trained personnel equipped with respiratory
Work areas are
contained to control dust and debris.
pressurization is used within the containment area.
ducts/grills in the work areas are sealed with plastic
involved in the remediation are commonly sealed off with
suppression methods, such as misting, are utilized.
materials are commonly removed from the building in sealed
completion, the work areas are HEPA vacuumed and cleaned.
All areas are
left dry and visibly free from contamination and debris.
bioaerosol testing is performed to verify acceptable indoor
air quality criteria.
Mr. Albers is an expert witness in a court of law, but
is not an attorney. If you have legal questions related
to any of these topics, please consult an Attorney.