Infection: There are over 100 species that are known to cause infection in humans. Three classifications of infection caused by fungi are systematic, opportunistic, and dermatophytic.
Toxicosis: Many fungi produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins. The health effects from exposure to the levels of mycotoxins that may be encountered in contaminated indoor environments are not yet completely known. However, dramatic toxic and carcinogenic effects have been reported for animals and humans exposed to high levels of mycotoxins in laboratory studies. Generally mycotoxins are non-volatile and exposure usually occurs only after disturbance of a contaminated source. Symptoms of exposure may include headache, nosebleeds, dermatitis, and immune suppression.
- Stop the incoming flow of water
- Notify your property insurer
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture
- Place foil or plastic under furniture legs to prevent staining
- Hang furs and leathers to dry in a separate area at room temperature
- If possible keep the indoor temperature under 70 degrees. Turning on air conditioning systems in the summer time will help the area dry.
- Turn off electricity at breakers in affected areas
- Remove small rugs, boxes, books or other items that might stain carpet
- Move valuable paintings and art objects to dry in a safe place
- Keep an activity log, including a record of all contact with your insurance company
- Keep a copy of all receipts
- Don’t throw away removed or damaged materials until instructed by your insurance company
- Photograph the damaged area
- Do Not use electronics or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially on concrete
- Do Not use your household vacuum as this may cause electrical shock
- Do Not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
EPS uses only EPA Registered microbials that have 26 years of safe and effective use, used by hundreds of millions of people, is non-poisonous, non-heavy metal based and guaranteed for 20 years to prevent mold, bacteria, mildew, algae and fungus. If you own a home, building, office, have school children, have asthma, have allergies or a weakened immune system, you are affected by microbes everyday. Every object that you touch has substantial microbe infestation that is a Fact! You can now limit the amount of microbe contamination that you breathe and touch. The answer is EPS’s Anti-microbials.
The active ingredient in the EPS Anti-microbials forms a colorless, odorless, positively charged polymer, which chemically bonds to the treated surface. You could think of it as a layer of electrically charged swords. When a microorganism comes in contact with the treated surface, the quaternary amine sword punctures the cell membrane and the electrical charge shocks the cell. Since nothing is transferred to the now dead cell, the anti-microbial doesn’t lose strength and the sword is ready for the next cell to contact it. Note that in order for the Microbe Guard Anti-microbials to continue their effectiveness, normal cleaning of treated surfaces is necessary. Dirt buildup, paint, dead microbes, etc. will cover the treatment prohibiting it from killing microorganisms.
This EPA Registered microbe preventative has been used safely for over 26 years. It is currently used by Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Rockport, Brillo Pads, Franklin Sports, and used in: air filters, hospital drapes, hospital clothing, wound dressings, socks, baby mattresses, baby diapers and thousands of other products. Our Anti-microbial technology was used extensively on over 300 buildings surrounding ground zero.
Conventional products penetrate living cells and kill by way of poisoning the organism. They are designed to act quickly and dissipate quickly to avoid adverse effects to humans and animals due to their toxic ingredients. Most commercial anti-microbials used for treating building surfaces do a great job of getting a quick kill on bacteria and fungi, although most have a limited spectrum of effectiveness. The heavy metal based anti-microbials on the market leach into the environment and lose their effectiveness over time. The EPS Anti-microbials take a totally unique approach. They provide an effective initial microbial kill when applied, like the conventional methods, but also provide long-term control of growth on treated surfaces for the life of that surface. The surface itself is modified to make it anti-microbial active.
Since the cured anti-microbials are nonvolatile, insoluble, and non-leaching, the treatment should last for the life of the treated surface. The life of a treated surface depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is surface preparation. If you treat a dirty or unstable surface, when the dirt comes off or the surface is disturbed, the effectiveness of the anti-microbial will decrease. Abrasive or caustic (pH>10.5) cleaners will also shorten effective life. In our extensive experience, our certified applicators have seen effectiveness for ten years or more.
Microbes can be extremely hazardous. Severe contamination with hazardous organisms may require cleaning protocols similar to those for asbestos removal. For normal contamination, solid surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned before treatment. Soft surfaces such as carpets and upholstery should be well vacuumed or professionally cleaned. Insulation can be cleaned and treated if only superficial growth on the surface is present. Insulation that has heavy growth or is damp should be removed and replaced.
There are hundreds of thousands of mold species, but you will most likely only encounter a few. The most common types of indoor molds that you might encounter are:
Mold has varying effects on people depending on the type of mold, the extent of the exposure, and each person’s sensitivity to mold. Mild mold exposure reactions are similar to allergy symptoms with:
• Irritated eyes
• Skin irritation
However, some people are more sensitive to mold exposure and may have reactions that are more serious. In addition, prolonged mold exposure, such as farmers working with moldy hay or people living in mold-infested homes might also exhibit more serious symptoms, such as:
• Lung infections
• Shortness of breath
• Asthma symptoms
• Respiratory illness
• Itchy or red eyes
Some studies have also shown that mold exposure can lead to asthma in children.
Mold is in almost every environment, both indoors and outdoors, in winter and summer. However, mold grows best in humid, warm places. Outdoors, you will find mold in damp, shady places or areas where vegetation is rotting. Inside, you can find mold in showers, bathrooms, crawl spaces or basements where there is a high humidity level.
The most common places of mold exposure include:
• Summer homes and cottages
• Antique shops
• Flower shops
• Saunas and showers
• Homes or buildings that have had no electric for over 90 days
• Homes or buildings that have had water intrusion issue
You can easily control the growth and, therefore, exposure to mold in your home by controlling the humidity levels and thoroughly cleaning and ventilating cooking areas and showers. If there is mold growth in your home, limit your exposure by having it removed by a professional. You can easily clean mold off a hard surface with soap, water, bleach or other household cleaning products. Just remember to wear protective eye-wear and non-porous gloves while cleaning the mold, and never mix cleaning products together, as that could lead to a dangerous reaction between chemicals.
If you are sensitive to mold, the best way to decrease exposure is to simply avoid areas with mold such as wooded places, compost heaps and cut grass. If you are exposed, contact your primary care physician and, if necessary, see a specialist.
The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, does not recommend regular mold testing for residences or even some commercial venues. As allergies and other illnesses can be caused by a large number of mold species, it is best to simply remove the mold without bothering to determine its type. In addition, accurately sampling and testing mold can be expensive and difficult. It is much better to spend your time and money thoroughly eliminating the danger.
Most mold exposures will result in allergy-like symptoms and can be relieved by over-the-counter medications. You should consult your general healthcare practitioner or family doctor, as he can recommend the best medications for you and your health. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a specialist. Specialists who treat mold exposure include infectious disease doctors and allergy specialists who can prescribe strong allergy medications. If you have a mold infection in your lungs, you may need to see a pulmonary specialist.
If you believe that you are sick because of exposure to a mold infestation in your workplace, your first step is to consult your doctor and take care of your health. Next, notify your employer and, if applicable, your union representative, to ensure that your doctor’s visit and corresponding treatment are covered by insurance.
You can contact your local health department (city, county, or state) to ensure that your employer is taking the necessary steps to clean up the mold and prevent future growth. You can also read the Environment Protection Agency’s guidelines for workplace health to make sure your rights are protected.
If you feel that your landlord, property manager or builder has not taken appropriate action regarding your concerns about mold in your home, you should contact your local housing authority or board of health. Applicable insurance, legal workings, codes and issues will fall under your local and state jurisdiction. Review your lease or building contract and contact an attorney, insurance company or local government if you feel your rights have been violated. You are in charge of protecting yourself, and should feel free to fight for your right to live in a clean, safe home.
Mold is all around us, and, in some cases, can be very damaging to our health. Use these questions and answers to guide you through mold exposure concerns and the removal process. If you need more information, contact your local health department.