Both indoors and outdoors, mold has always been around us. As environmental awareness has grown, so too have concerns about the health effects of mold infestations.
Risk Factors for Mold
Moisture and organic matter are the only elements needed for mold to develop. Once it germinates, mold can spread as quickly as one to two days, especially in dark, confined areas.
Organic materials, including wood, carpet and sheetrock, make building interiors particularly opportune places for mold infestations. Mold is also a sign of a moisture problem, whether it’s a water leak or high humidity levels.
How Much Mold Is Too Much?
While there are no federal or state regulations defining acceptable mold levels, the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine recommends immediate removal of mold inside buildings. Failure to do so may trigger penalties under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, which covers workplace hazards without specific standards.
According to the EPA, the best way to control mold is by controlling moisture. In addition to removing or repairing the source of the moisture, adequate ventilation should be installed in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas prone to mold development.
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