ORGIN: Moldex Technical Services Department
DATE: June 2, 2003
REVIEWED/UPDATED: July 2015
Mold contamination in commercial buildings, homes, and other structures has become an increasingly common issue and concern.
Molds are fungi and, unlike plants, lack chlorophyll and must survive by digesting plant materials and other organic matter. Molds can be found almost anywhere and can grow on almost any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. They can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and many types of building materials. Any structure that has excessive moisture buildup or leaks is a potential environment for molds to exist. This is often caused by flooding, leaks, and incorrectly operating HVAC systems.
When mold growth occurs in a dwelling, commercial building or other structure, 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. These health effects may be caused by exposure to the mold spores themselves, to toxins produced by molds (also know as mycotoxins), or to gases produced by molds (microbial volatile organic compounds, MVOCs). There are many different types of molds, some more dangerous than others.
Excessive mold growth that has been identified or is suspected in buildings should be investigated and remediated by someone knowledgeable and qualified to perform such a cleanup. There are companies that specialize in this type of cleanup. Those that perform such cleanup must wear various types of PPE including gloves, eye protection, protective clothing and respirators. The EPA recommends N95 respirators, half mask or full face piece respirators with 100 level filters (HEPA), or PAPRs with HEPA filters as well as other PPE. The choice will depend on the situation and the professional judgment of the company performing the cleanup.
Moldex® has a full complement of respirators ranging from N95 disposables such as 2700N95, the 2800 series (for the accompanying nuisance odors), N100 such as 2730N100 series, the 8000 series with P100 filters, or 7000 series with 7940 P100 and 7100 Organic Vapor, or 8000 series with P100 and 8100 Organic Vapor cartridges (for VOCs), as necessary. It is always up to the remediation professional to choose the respirator that should be used.
Flood Remediation Companies
Abatement Companies that specialize in Molds
Moldex® urges those who wish to consider the use of respiratory protection to refer to the guidelines on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/mold
Additional References can be found on OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/molds/index.html
WARNING: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex’s knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.
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