Growth in basement toxic, on 2nd floor less harmful
Mold: Unsightly but not deadly
Mold keeps schools closed
mold prevention plans
Erin Brockovich Crusades
Ed McMahon Sues Over Mold, Says it Killed His
weather can cause stored corn, soybeans to spoil
State Orders Haz-mat Review of New Ferry
'Hulk' star settles toxic mold suit
New ferry HQ has history of toxic substances
Top Ten Mold Prevention Mistakes To
1. IGNORING POSSIBLE MOLD HEALTH SYMPTOMS
BEING SUFFERED BY ONE OR MORE FAMILY MEMBERS OR CO-WORKERS.
Be concerned about possible
mold problems if one or more occupants is suffering from unexplained health
problems such as an ongoing itchy eyes, bloody nose, sinus problems, headaches,
nose congestion, runny nose, skin rashes, skin sores, coughing, breathing
difficulties, difficulty in remembering things and in thinking clearly, feeling
disconnected from the world around you, and/or chronic fatigue. Please remember
that some occupants may experience mold health symptoms, while others may have
none, with all living or working in the same mold-infested area. People differ
significantly in their sensitivity to mold.
2. IGNORING HOME
MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS & MOLD CLUES. You contribute big-time to becoming a
mold victim when you ignore roof leaks, plumbing leaks, sewer line leaks, water
stains on ceilings, the indoor smell of mold, visible mold growth, high humidity
[60% or more to drive mold growth from humidity alone], a wet or damp basement,
and a wet or damp crawl space.
3. ASSUMING THAT THERE IS
NO MOLD PROBLEM BECAUSE OF NO VISIBLE MOLD GROWTH. The worst mold
infestation problems are often the ones you cannot see INSIDE floors, ceilings,
walls, basement, attic, crawl space, and the heating/cooling equipment and
ducts. Airborne mold spores are invisible to the eye, very light, and are
easily carried in air current movements or in the air flows of your
heating/cooling system to mold cross-contaminate your entire house from just one
hidden mold problem. Use our do it yourself mold test kits to mold test the air
of your basement, attic, all rooms, and the outward air flow from each
heating/cooling register for the possible presence of elevated levels of
airborne mold spores, in comparison to an outdoor mold control test. Visit:
Environmental Products and Services Use a hidden moisture meter to scan all walls and
floors for hidden water problems. Use a fiber optics inspection device to check
for mold growth inside wall, floor, and ceiling cavities.
4. HOPING THAT A NEW HOME
IS MOLD FREE. Today’s new homes often come with built-in mold infestation
(a) Moldy building
materials are received from the builder’s supplier---today's timbers are not
kiln-dried as in earlier times, and thus contain a high internal moisture
content that makes mold growth possible in the timbers;
(b) The builder and its
supervisors and employees fail to do quality control to inspect for, and, thus,
prevent moldy building materials from being used in the home’s construction;
(c) The builder stores
the inventory of building materials on the outside ground with no plastic
sheeting to protect the building materials from rain [which thus supplies the
necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the materials];
(d) The construction
crew fails to cover the entire home under construction with plastic sheeting at
the end of each construction day to protect the building materials from rain
[which thus supplies the necessary water to enable mold to grow in and on the
materials]. The roof and side walls need to be protected against rain until the
entire roof, siding, windows, and doors are totally installed to seal out rain;
(e) The builder fails
to inspect and test the home for mold growth while it is being constructed and
at the home’s completion; and
(f) Use of modern
building materials like chip wafer boards, drywall (plasterboard), & plywood---
all of which molds love to eat.
Mold Products and Services.
5. ASSUMING THAT AFTER A
WET AREA HAS DRIED, THAT IT IS NOW MOLD SAFE. Mold needs moisture to grow
and to multiply as its eats your home building materials and personal
possessions. This moisture can come from high indoor humidity [above 60% some or
all of the year], roof leaks, siding leaks, and plumbing leaks. If mold spores
and mold colony growth run out of moisture, they do NOT die. Instead, they
become dormant, and can wait millions of years for access to high humidity or a
future water intrusion. Dormant mold can make mold-sensitive persons sick. Even
the smell of dormant mold can make some people very sick.
6. USING CHLORINE BLEACH TO
KILL MOLD. Do not use ineffective chlorine bleach to try to kill mold growth
and mold spores. Bleach is too weak even when freshly manufactured to kill mold.
Bleach that sits on store shelves and in your home continually gets ever weaker
over the passage of time. In addition, read the manufacturer’s usage directions
on the bleach container. The manufacturer does not recommend its use to kill
7. USING OTHER INEFFECTIVE
PRODUCTS TO KILL MOLD---such as Kilz, regular paint, paint containing a
mildicide element, any paint, Lysol, ammonia, and other household cleaners and
disinfectants. Painting over a mold problem does not solve it---it only hides
the problem temporarily and gives the mold something delicious to eat---the
8. SPRAYING SOMETHING ON
THE MOLD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM. Only EPA-registered fungicides can
kill mold, but just spraying visible mold does not solve mold problems. You need
to kill all visible mold encountered in mold remediation, but it needs also to
be removed from the home or building, and all of the water and mold damaged
building materials need to be thrown out and replaced with mold-free building
materials. In addition the cleaned out area needs to be treated with both
fungicide and wood protectant. Learn all of the steps
required for safe and effective mold remediation at
9. TRUSTING THAT MOLD
REMEDIATION CONTRACTORS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Most mold remediation
companies cause and leave more mold problems AFTER the alleged remediation than
before their work because of: (a) failure to find and fix all of the mold
infestation locations in a home or building due to incomplete mold inspection
and mold testing; (b) poor and inadequate training; (c) failure to utilize
proper mold containment procedures and effective mold remediation techniques;
(d) taking shortcuts that undermine the remediation effort; and (e) sometimes
fraud and dishonesty on the part of the contractor. Insist on hiring only
Certified Mold Inspectors, Certified Mold Contractors, and Certified Mold
Remediators who have been trained and certified by the
Ecology College Online.
10. TRUSTING THAT
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE EXPERTS IN MOLD PREVENTION,
INSPECTION, TESTING, AND REMEDIATION. The only people who truly care about
your family’s health and home investment are yourself and your family. Although
there are many mold knowledgeable and mold experienced industrial hygienists,
most are not. Hire a
Certified Mold Inspector
Environmental Hygienist if you value your family’s
health and home investment. Some government websites often promote ineffective
and outdated mold remediation ideas like using bleach to kill mold. Government
employees do not have the personal experience of having to work in the real
world to find and kill real mold that is often hidden in home walls, ceilings,
floors, heating/cooling systems, attic, basement, and crawl space.
Mold keeps schools closed
MICHAEL HOLTZMAN , Staff Writer 08/26/2003
NORTH SMITHFIELD --
Cleaning and disinfecting of mold at the Halliwell
School, 11 buildings comprising 22 classrooms, has continued
day and night since Friday.
Providence company should conclude the work by Tuesday or Wednesday with test
results from a California lab that’s looking at the impact of the mold known a
day or so later.
end of this week, school officials should know the test results, along with test
results from North Smithfield Elementary School, which like Halliwell has been
closed to teachers since mold was discovered about 10 days ago on Aug. 15,
Superintendent M. Richard Scherza said during an interview Monday night.
"guestimating" the cleanup and remediation, virtually all of it for Halliwell,
could cost the school district about $125,000.
he’d be able to release more specific figures, Scherza said, "I’d like to know
by the end of the week so people can know by the weekend."
teachers are slated to report to the high school on Sept. 2 for orientation, and
students and staff begin school the following day.
confident we’ll open and we’ll open well. The staffing is on track," he said.
20 teachers have been hired for this school year, including about 10 new
positions, all of which have been filled, Scherza said. An orientation solely
for new teachers and staff is being held today at the high school.
Scherza said only two or three rooms at NSES showed traces of mold the size of
one’s hand in a scattered few pieces of furniture, he said cleaning and mold
testing at this school precipitated the precaution of keeping teachers out of
the building after large amounts of mold were found inside the Halliwell
school, part of NSES and several decontaminated buildings at Halliwell have been
tested for mold and sent out for testing by Thomas E. Hamilton, owner of
OccuHealth Inc., Mansfield, Scherza said.
one wing of NSES was still being cleaned by custodial staff and would be tested
later this week. "If they’re decontaminating them, we just can’t have them
(teachers) in there while we’re decontaminating," said Scherza when asked about
school underwent significant remediation for mold and its ventilation systems
two years ago. Both Hamilton and Scherza said the small appearances of mold
there do not reflect re-occurrence of past problems.
high school, where a language lab carpet that remained damp was removed for
precautions, decontamination cleaning was not necessary, Scherza said.
has stressed the mold problems here have been rampant through the region and
reflect high humidity and condensation rather than roof leaks or other
district hired a cleaning company recommended by Hamilton, Serve Pro of Metro
Rhode Island, which has come in with crews of about a dozen workers or so,
working as late as midnight through the weekend and beyond, Scherza said.
additional crews have been sent to apply a biocide decontaminant to destroy
bacteria and mold and encapsulate the areas they’re applied to, further
inhibiting the growth of mold, which can be harmful to the health of children
As of last
night, the final four Halliwell classrooms remained to be done, which could be
completed as early as today, Scherza said. Halliwell houses about 400 pupils in
grades 6 to 8, while NSES has about 650 pupils from pre-school to Grade 3.
teachers will be able to enter their elementary classrooms, Scherza said, "As
soon as Tom (Hamilton) tells me we have good readings and it’s safe. I’m hoping
Wednesday should be the day they notify us.
it’s caused some inconvenience for teachers, but I’d rather error on the side of
caution," Scherza said.
Marianne Lowe, president of the North Smithfield Teachers Association, had been
kept abreast of the cleanup progress. A telephone call sent to Lowe last night
was not returned.
said the NSTA has not issued any complaints. "I think if we were not doing what
we were doing, that would have cause for complaint," he said.
Scherza said the work to counter this "bombshell," as School Committee
Chairwoman Christine A. Charest called it, has gone "smoothly," he was asked if
it’s been viewed by teachers as a major disruption. "Other than setting up their
rooms, to my knowledge it has not been a problem," he said.
vowed to continue communicating information so that parents and the public know
how the mold cleanup is proceeding as it relates to the safe opening of school,
as well as knowing the financial impacts.
the three major costs consist of paying the cleaning firm, Serve Pro, replacing
the drop ceiling tiles from 22 classrooms and paying overtime to their 21-member
custodial/maintenance staff that’s also worked nights and weekend hours.
of positive news, he said, was that the district appears to have a surplus that
can cover costs in the range he projected. Through ongoing cost savings, Scherza
said, "I try to find a 1-2 percent surplus each year for things like this mold
issue at Halliwell.
know a year and a half ago that this is going to come up," he said.
anticipates offering a further update at tonight’s School Building/Space Needs
Committee, which includes the School Committee. It will be held at 7 o’clock at
the high school.
mold prevention plans
Advertiser Staff Writer
The mold-related closure last month of Hilton Hawaiian Village's
453-room Kalia Tower has prompted some local hotel companies to review their own
housekeeping procedures to see that mold doesn't cause such a costly shutdown at
Hilton estimated last month that closure of the tower will cost
the company at least $10 million, making it the most expensive mold problem for
the hotel company and the largest ever faced by a Hawai'i hotel.
Outrigger Enterprises, Hawai'i's largest lodging company, has
reviewed its mold-prevention programs, Barry Wallace, senior vice president of
operations, said yesterday.
"We found nothing to be concerned about," Wallace said of the
company's properties, which include more than 12,000 hotel rooms and condominium
units in Hawai'i, Micronesia, Australia and the South Pacific.
Wallace said hotel managers spoke to housekeeping and maintenance
employees about preventive maintenance, including the cleaning of fan coil units
and the reporting of any out-of-reach mold. The hotels also reviewed their
logbooks to ensure cleaning programs are on schedule.
B.J. Whitman, spokeswoman for the Sheraton Waikiki, which has
more than 1,800 rooms and suites, and the Royal Hawaiian with 527 rooms and
suites, said test results came back yesterday showing no toxic mold at the
hotels, only "the safe mold, the everyday mold."
The tests were done last week after the Hilton tower closed.
"We decided to take the aggressive approach and made sure our
environment was free and clear," Whitman said. Sheraton hotel housekeepers use a
special solution to clean away mold and the engineering department has been
checking air ventilation systems, she said.
Donna Wheeler, director of marketing for Aston Hotels & Resorts,
said that while mold and mildew have always been issues here, the Hilton
incident has raised awareness even further.
Aston hotel employees have been reminded of "the need to be
observant and be able to communicate and react to certain situations, unusual
situations," Wheeler said.
She said no problems have been found. Aston has more than 4,500
rooms and suites in Hawaii.
Officials with Local 5 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant
Employees Union, which represents workers at Hilton Hawaiian Village, said
yesterday they have been asking a number of other hotels where their members
work for information about possible mold problems.
Eric Gill, financial secretary-treasurer for Local 5, did not
identify the hotels. "So far we're kind of going where we see some smoke," he
said. "Plus, as we've talked to experts, various information has been proffered
to us, and we're trying to follow up on that."
In Waikiki, Local 5 represents workers at the four Sheraton
hotels, the Renaissance 'Ilikai Waikiki, the Ala Moana Hotel and the Hyatt
"We're not anxious to go on a mold crusade, but we've got to be
cognizant of our members' health interests here," Gill said. "And certainly for
any hotel who might be worried, being in a similar situation to Hilton, we
wanted to offer them an opportunity to work out with us a scenario as to what to
Glenn Vergara, general manager of Aston's 106-suite Executive
Centre Hotel, called mold prevention "a daily objective," and said Hilton's
tower closure is unprecedented.
"Right now it's an awareness stage," Vergara said. "Certainly
it's something that has become an issue that we're talking about."
staff writer Susan Hooper contributed to this report. Reach Kelly Yamanouchi at
Erin Brockovich Crusades
Erin Brockovich environmental crusader and
champion for victims of toxic exposure now says that she is a victim herself -
Brockovich says that she and her family suffer from respiratory ailments, facial
rashes, chronic headaches, sinus infections and other health problems brought on
by mold in their Agoura Hills home. She testified before the state Senate
committee on Health and Human Services about the problems she and her family
received from Brockovich told the committee.
"I'm not here today because I'm looking for a new cause. I wasn't looking for
mold, mold found me." Brockovich, told a state Senate health committee that
what's making her ill is the very thing that a growing number of people across
the capital region, state and country are blaming for symptoms ranging from hair
loss and vertigo to weakened immune systems and brain damage. The culprit, they
all say, is mold, sometimes referred to as "toxic mold," in their homes, schools
Ed McMahon Sues Over Mold, Says it Killed His
Entertainer Ed McMahon is suing his insurance company for more than $20 million,
alleging that he was sickened by toxic mold that spread through his Beverly
Both McMahon and his wife, Pamela, became ill from the mold, as did members of
their household staff, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court suit. The
McMahons also blame the mold for the death of the family dog, Muffin.
The trouble began in late July, when a pipe broke in the couple's six-bedroom,
Mediterranean-style house.The den became flooded. A month later, mold was
discovered in the den.
The McMahons questioned the contractors' cleanup methods - including simply
painting over the mold. "When your family loses its health and your home is a
wasteland, that's a colossal disaster," McMahon said.The McMahons' dog, a mutt
named Muffin that resembled a sheepdog, was in perfect health until she suddenly
became sick at about the same time the mold was discovered, Browne said. "She
was a sweetheart of a dog, incredibly smart, as frisky as you can imagine," the
lawyer said. "All of a sudden she got this terrible respiratory ailment, and
they had to put her down,"
Source: The Los Angeles Times
Warm spring weather can cause stored corn, soybeans to spoil
By U of M Extension
Farm & Ranch Guide News, April 9,
Warm spring weather can put stored corn and
soybeans at risk. If the stored crops are too wet they are likely to spoil, says
Bill Wilcke, engineer with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Wilcke says wet harvest conditions resulted in the storage of some wet shelled
corn and soybeans last fall. Cold weather generally protected these crops from
mold and insects during the winter.
"Stored crops that are cooled to less than 30 degrees F during the winter can be
stored at fairly high moisture levels with minimal risk of spoilage," he points
out. "But during spring and summer we lose the ability to keep crops below 30
degrees F, so we need to reduce moisture content to avoid spoilage."
Wilcke says corn should be dried to 14-15 percent moisture for storage into
spring, 14 percent for storage into summer, and 13 percent for longer-term
storage. Soybeans should be 12-13 percent moisture for storage into spring, 12
percent for storage into summer and 11 percent for longer-term storage.
Stored crops will probably mold if they are wetter than these levels and are
aerated only by a small fan delivering less than 0.5 cubic feet of air per
minute per bushel of grain in the bin.
Using a gas-fired dryer in late winter or early spring is an option for both
corn and soybeans, says Wilcke. After drying, cool the crop to less than 50
degrees F for summer storage. That means drying needs to be completed before
average outdoor temperatures rise above 50.
Wilcke says you can expect energy costs for gas-fired drying to be about one to
two cents per bushel per percent point of moisture removed. Total drying costs,
including labor, depreciation and repairs, will be two to four cents per bushel
per point. Labor, equipment and transportation costs for moving crops to the
dryer and back to storage will add a few more cents per bushel.
"You can dry soybeans in gas-fired dryers, but the seeds will split if you dry
them too fast or the temperature is too high," says Wilcke. "Therefore, it's
important to use a much lower drying temperature for soybeans than for corn. If
you plan to use any of the soybeans for seed, keep the drying temperature below
110 degrees F to avoid killing the seed embryo."
Natural-air drying may be another option for slightly wet corn and soybeans,
says Wilcke. For this you need a bin with a full perforated drying floor and a
drying fan that can deliver about one cubic foot per minute per bushel. For
further information check a University of Minnesota Extension Service bulletin
entitled "Natural-Air Corn Drying in the Upper Midwest," item BU-6577.
"Spring drying must be started early," says Wilcke. "If you wait too long and
the weather gets too warm, the crop at the top of the bin will mold before it
dries. The crop at the bottom of the bin will get drier than it needs to be. The
wetter the crop, the earlier you need to start."
For corn wetter than 19 percent moisture, Wilcke says the natural-air drying
process needs to begin as soon as average outdoor temperatures stay above
freezing. This is usually around mid-March. Turn on the drying fan and let it
run until the drying front moves through the top of the bin. For 17-19
percent moisture corn, start drying around April 1, and for 15-17 percent corn,
start drying around April 15.
The same dates apply when natural-air drying soybeans, but the moisture levels
should be about two percentage points lower. This means you should start drying
beans that are wetter than 17 percent moisture at mid-March.
For beans that are 14-15 percent moisture, Wilcke suggests controlling the fan,
either manually or with a humidistat, so that the fan only runs when relative
humidity is less than about 70 percent.