Here are some of the questions that come up on a regular basis. Don’t see your question answered? Click here to get in touch with us.
What is mold?
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. 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 the disturbance of a contaminated source. Symptoms of exposure may include headache, nosebleeds, dermatitis, and immune suppression.
What are the most common types of indoor mold
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: • Cladosporium • Aspergillus • Penicillium • Alternaria
how does mold affect People

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
  • Congestion
  • Skin irritation
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

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:

  • Fever
  • Lung infections
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Respiratory illness
  • Itchy or red eyes
  • Headaches

Some studies have also shown that mold exposure can lead to asthma in children.

where can you find mold?
Mold is found 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.
how can you decrease mold exposure?
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.
i've been exposed to mold; what should i do?
Most mold exposures will result in allergy-like symptoms and can be relieved by over-the-counter medications. You should consult your general health care practitioner or family doctor, as they 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.
the mold in my workplace is making me sick. where can i go for help?
If you believe that you are sick because of exposure to 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.
my builder or landlord is not taking responsibility for cleaning up mold in my home. what can i do?
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.
what can i do to prevent further damage & cost when a water leak is detected?
  • 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
should i test mold i find in my home or workplace?
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.
how should a contaminated surface be treated?
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.
why should i use these anti-microbials?
EPS uses only EPA Registered anti-microbials that have 26 years of safe and effective use, are used by hundreds of millions of people, are non-poisonous, non-heavy metal-based and guaranteed for 20 years to prevent mold, bacteria, mildew, algae, and fungus. If you own property, have school children, have asthma, have allergies, or have a weakened immune system, you are affected by microbes every day. Every object that you touch has substantial microbe infestation. You can now limit the amount of microbe contamination that you breathe and touch. The answer is EPS’s anti-microbials.
how do the eps anti-microbials work?
The active ingredient in 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.
are the eps anti-microbial chemicals safe for people & the environment?
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.
what is the difference between the EPS anti-microbials and other anti-microbials on the market?
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. 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.
how long does the anti-microbial treatment work?
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 the effective life. In our extensive experience, our certified applicators have seen effectiveness for ten years or more.

Kari McDonald

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