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Mold expertise is not abundand with home inspectors

Mold expertise is limited with home Inspectors

By | Tucson Mold Blog | No Comments
Mold expertise is limited with home Inspectors

Mold Inspection

Mold expertise is limited with home Inspectors, this is true. There are several limitations when it comes to home inspections in Arizona but the biggest we’ve seen revolves around the incorrect identification or complete avoidance of reporting on mold. Mold expertise is limited with home inspectors and the truth actually is that Arizona licensed home inspectors aren’t required to inspect for nor report on mold if it is present in the home. This can be found in the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration documentation on licensing for home inspectors. Section 3 for “General Limitations and Exclusions”1 states the following on mold assessment as well as other inspection limitations and exclusions. Mold expertise is essential to successful home inspection.

3.2 General exclusions:

Inspectors are NOT required to report on:

  1. life expectancy of any component or system.
  2. the causes of the need for a major repair.
  3. the methods, materials and costs of corrections.
  4. the suitability of the property for any specialized use.
  5. compliance or non-compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.
  6. the market value of the property or its marketability.
  7. the advisability or inadvisability of purchase of the property.
  8. any component or system which was not observed.
  9. the presence or absence of pests such as wood damaging organisms, rodents, or insects.
  10. cosmetic items, underground items, or items not permanently installed.

Inspectors are NOT required to:

  1. offer warranties or guarantees of any kind.
  2. calculate the strength, adequacy, or efficiency of any component or system.
  3. enter any area or perform any procedure which may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to the inspector or other persons.
  4. operate any component or system which is shut down or otherwise inoperable.
  5. operate any component or system which does not respond to normal operating controls.
  6. disturb insulation, move personal items, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice, or debris which obstructs access or visibility.
  7. Mold damage that home inspectors lack expertise in.

    Mold Damage

    determine the presence or absence of any suspected hazardous substance including but not limited to toxins, fungus, molds, mold spores, carcinogens, noise, contaminants in soil, water, and air.

  8. determine the effectiveness of any system installed to control or remove suspected hazardous substances.
  9. predict future conditions, including but not limited to failure of components.
  10. project operating costs of components.
  11. evaluate acoustical characteristics of any component or system.

Quite simply, most home inspectors are not educated about molds. This can come as quite a shock to current and seeking homeowners who are otherwise relying on home inspectors to give them the “full report.” To remove any doubt and protect yourself, family, and home, a professional and licensed mold assessor should be part of any home inspection process. Royalty Renovation not only can help with inspecting for mold but also in the process of mold removal, should it be found.

Some home inspectors may see (or believe that they see) mold and will want to make that part of their report. While this is good-nature, the home inspector may not be a licensed mold assessor and could unintentionally be providing incorrect information. Health problems arising from inaccurate home inspection reporting on mold presence prompted the State of New York Department of Labor to require that all home inspectors that report on mold in a home to additionally be a licensed Mold Assessor.2

The move by the State of New York has helped better protect homeowners and occupants but unfortunately the State of Arizona does not have such requirements. This leaves it the responsibility of those seeking inspections and reports on their home to ensure that a fully experienced and licensed mold assessor is acquired.

Other states that don’t require home inspectors to be mold assessors, if reporting on mold, have made the effort to strongly encourage homeowners to seek additional licensed specialists to supplement the work of the home inspector. The State of Massachusetts has published Other Inspections and Tests to Consider3 in which they specifically outline the importance for seeking qualified specialists beyond their home inspector in determining the “health” of a home in regards to dangerous agents like moldIt is strongly recommended that potential buyers consider having the following inspections and/or tests performed prior to signing the final purchase agreement:

  • Lead paint
  • Water quality ( is it drinkable)
  • Wood destroying insects, including termites.
  • Air quality, including radon gases.
  • Fungi, mold and allergens.

While some home inspectors are qualified to offer these services, these inspections and tests are not part of the basic home inspection and should be contracted through qualified licensed professionals (of your choice and hire) in those fields.

The concern over lack of regulations and licensing for home inspectors with mold expertise is becoming a larger issue all across the country. This is why mold expertise is not a concentrated area with home inspectors. In New Orleans where hundreds of thousands of residents experienced mass flooding damage from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, WDSU 6 local news station reported on this lack of government oversight4. Their news report on “Law shows home inspectors not required to tell buyers about mold, asbestos” highlights the struggles that residents of New Orleans are still dealing with in regards to water damage and mold, even though it’s been more than 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast area.

Video Source – WDSU News YouTube Channel

Just this year the State of New Hampshire passed new regulations on the requirements surrounding advertising for and performing mold assessment. Their Office of Professional Licensure and Certification made effective January 1, 2016 that – “No person shall perform residential mold assessment services for remuneration unless that person possesses a valid national third party certification for mold assessment.”5

In Arizona we can’t think of home inspections any more as being a “full report” but more of a “structural report” while a professional and licensed mold removal specialist like Royalty Renovation would be the official “mold report” of your home. Mold expertise is limited with home Inspectors, there is no way around it. Royalty Renovation’s inspection report would provide you with the information you need to better keep yourself and your family protected against harmful agents like mold that may be lurking inside. Royaly Renovation have mold expertise to assess your problem and make a concise determination of the damage and the solution to your mold problem.

Check out a full checklist for home inspections that the Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (AZ ASHI) publishes6. This checklist is made available to the public and and assists in assuring that a home inspection report complies with The Arizona Standards of Professional Practice for Home Inspectors. It should be noted that the AZ ASHI chapter makes no mention of mold in any part of their checklist.

References

  1. Arizona State Board of Technical Registration. (2016). Home Inspector Standards. https://btr.az.gov/laws-standards/standards/home-inspectors#block-system-main
  2. New York State Department of Labor. (2016). Home Inspectors and Mold Assessment Licensing. https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/mold/mold-assessor-license.shtm
  3. Massachusetts Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. (2016). Home Inspectors Consumer Fact Sheet; Other Inspections and Tests to Consider. http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/dpl-lp/consumer-fact-sheets/home-inspectors-consumer-fact-sheet.html
  4. WDSU Channel 6 News. (2013). Law shows home inspectors not required to tell buyers about mold, asbestos. http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/Law-shows-home-inspectors-not-required-to-tell-buyers-about-mold-asbestos/18974244
  5. State of New Hampshire, Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. (2016). Home Inspectors. https://www.nh.gov/jtboard/homeinspectorlaw.htm
  6. Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (AZ ASHI). (2016). Report Checklist Supplement. https://azashi.org/pdfs/Dec_2012_Report_Checklist_Supplement.pdf
Mold affects you in Tucson

Mold affects you, find out how

By | Tucson Mold Blog | No Comments

Reducing Mold Exposure Tucson, AZ

 

Mold affects you! People react differently to mold exposure. A person that lives in a mold infested house may never show symptoms (thought this is very rare). Another person might have a sneezing fit, headache, dizziness, or watery eyes from just being next to a cardboard box with a small section of mold growth on it.

In another case, one person might live in a house with mold growth and only have an occasional headache or slight brain fog. But another person in the same home might develop a serious debilitating respiratory disease.

There are several factors that contribute to how our bodies react to mold. These include the type of mold, the amount of mold, how we are exposed to it, and ultimately our unique physiology. But an important thing to note is that regardless of the degree of your symptoms, the presence of mold can be causing damage to your health. You may not be showing symptoms yet but could shortly or much later.

Whether or not you or a family member is highly sensitive to mold, consider the following steps to reduce your mold exposure.

 

1. Learn about the different mold types and how they personally affect you.

Mold grows both outside and inside in Tucson, AZ. It thrives on water sources like leaky pipes or even moderate moisture in air. There are thousands of species of mold. Some like Penicillium are used in medical treatment but even these can create deadly reactions in mold-sensitive persons. It just depends because everyone has different physiology and therefore different reactions to mold. No matter who you are and your physiology, it’s important to know about common types of mold, what kind of molds you have (or currently) come in contact with, and if you are experiencing symptoms of mold exposure when you do. Below you’ll find a list of some of the more common molds found in homes. There are of course thousands of species of mold so this only covers a portion of the types of molds you will most likely come in contact with during your lifetime.

Common Mold Types in Homes Tucson, AZ1

Aspergillus – This mold type has favorable growth in foods high in sugar, salt, and other solutes and oxygen-rich environments. It is known to grow aggressively on surfaces and foods.

Mold Type Aspergillus Tucson, AZ

Mold Type Aspergillus. Image Source – CDC

Cladosporium – This mold type is known to be severely dangerous to asthmatics and those with respiratory diseases. It produces millions of airborne spores that act as very aggressive allergens.

Mold Type Cladosporium Tucson, AZ

Mold Type Cladosporium. Image Source – CDC

Penicillium – This mold type (in some members) provides as an antibiotic but can still create a powerful allergic reaction in many. It is one of the more common allergen questions by health care workers. It prefers growth in cool climates.

Mold Type Penicillium Tucson, AZ

Mold Type Penicillium. Image Source – CDC

Alternaria – This mold type grows indoors and can cause hay fever and trigger asthma as well as induce infections in persons who are immunocompromised.

Mold Type Alternaria Tucson, AZ

Mold Type Alternaria. Image Source – CDC

Common Symptoms to Mold Types Tucson, AZ2

Coughing

Nasal congestion

Sneezing

Irritated eyes

Itchy throat

Runny nose

Wheezing

Triggering of asthma symptoms

2. Stay up to date on mold forecasts in Tucson, AZ through allergy alerts and resources.

Allergy Alerts Tucson, AZ

If you believe you are suffering from allergies and/or asthma in Tucson, AZ you should contact a health provider to seek help. To supplement seeking professional health care, online sources about Relief Tests have also been made available by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. You can also visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Now site that reports every day on air quality in the entire country including Tucson, AZ. Air quality ratings can be viewed on a map as well as through a table that lists by city.

Allergy Alerts Tucson AZ

Allergy Alerts Tucson, AZ

For staying up-to-date on allergens (while on the run or out and about ) in Tucson, AZ use Pollen.com’s Allergy Alert app and email alerts. The app gives a daily “Allergy Forecast” rating indicating if predominant pollens like grasses, ragweed, and chenopods are low, moderate, high, or somewhere in between. As a bonus there is a quick daily temperature and weather report for the 4 days aheads along with the anticipated allergy forecast rating. This can be extremely helpful in planning for days in the park, and specifically what days you might want to avoid going.

Allergy App Tucson, AZ

Allergy App Tucson, AZ

3. Remember your allergy medication when you leave your home.

Make it a habit to take your allergy medication with you everywhere. Even if you don’t believe you’ll need it, allergens that are airborne can’t usually be seen. This makes it difficult to predict when you may have an allergic reaction to mold either inside or outside. This is especially important if your medication is not over the counter, and so can not be quickly picked up at the closest convenient store.

 

4. Plan before going to businesses, parks, and other places.

This is where that allergy forecast app we talk about above will come in handy. If you know you’ll be spending time in a park or a business like a flower shop, plan the time of day you’ll go and how long you’ll stay. And check those allergy alerts before and during your outing. If the current day has a high allergy forecast but the following days are low to moderate, then you may want to change your plans.

 

5. Keep your home clean.

Your home is probably where you spend the majority of your time. Make sure that you regularly clean your home. This will help in reducing debris and organic matter that mold can grow on. Vacuum and wash floors regularly, remove dust and dirt, and clean furniture. Keeping your home free of clutter will also reduce the chance of hidden mold. The kind that could be growing on the pizza box under the bed or on the wall behind the dresser. You’ll reduce the number of things that mold can grow on and create more visual lines for inspecting your home for possible mold growth.

 

6. Regularly check for unwanted sources of water.

Unwanted sources of water include, but are not limited to, leaky faucets, a broken dishwasher or washing machine, busted pipes, or malfunctioning sprinklers. Check pipes and faucets regularly to ensure that water is not accumulating under sinks, on the floor or carpet, or behind walls. Inspect your dishwasher and washing machine during and after cycles to make sure that water is staying inside the appliances. Unwanted water sources are not only hiking up your water bill but most likely feeding a mold type. An outside sprinkler that is malfunctioning could be regularly shooting water onto the home, creating a leak in the house over time and feeding a mold source.

Also, check your home after a rainstorm. Just think of a rainstorm as a test of any leaks in your roof or other problem areas.

 

7. Ask for a mold inspection of your home or workplace.

Maybe you suspect there is mold in your home or workplace either by a visual presence, an odor, symptoms of mold exposure, or a combination of these. In any circumstance, contact a local professional team of licensed mold inspectors. Remember that in Tucson, AZ home inspectors are not required to be licensed for mold inspections or to perform them in the first place. You must find a company licensed to perform a mold inspection. This will include a visual inspection and possibly air quality testing.

RELEVANT NEWS STORY

One family in Atlanta was suffering from mold exposure in their apartment and had to reach out to the local news. The news contracted a licensed mold inspector to perform a professional air quality test in which airborne mold spores of the type Penicillium were found. The owners of the apartment complex then hired a professional mold remediation company to remove the mold. This story highlights the dangers of mold exposure and the important work that is necessary to remove it. The family stayed in a hotel, courtesy of the apartment complex owners, until the mold was completely removed.3

 

 

8. Reduce the amount of moisture in your home.

Because so many different types of mold can thrive in environment with moderate moisture, it’s important to keep your home or workplace as dry as possible. Use ventilation systems, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, to help remove moisture. Common sources of moisture are cooking, showering, and doing laundry with a washing machine and dryer. If you don’t have ventilation systems, contact a company like Royalty Renovation in Tucson, AZ to install them for you.

Be mindful of all the ways in which moisture is created in your home. Taking shorter and colder showers can help reduce moisture. And opening windows nearby after. The temperature outside and inside your home can also have an impact on how much moisture is collecting in your home. Consider adjusting the temperature in your home as this can impact moisture.

 

9. Filter the air in your home.

Running HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters, that meet United States Department of Energy standards for air quality filtering, can help with reducing the concentration of mold spores in the air. They can’t, however, completely remove all airborne spores. If there is mold growth in a home, workplace, or childcare facility, then the mold should be removed and action taken to reduce the chance of regrowth. This would include removing unwanted sources of water and reducing moisture in the building. But using filters are a good way to cut down on all types of allergens in a home and gives you a little more safety if there is time between when mold first grows, when you first discover it, and when it is finally removed.

 

10. Check areas around your home.

Regularly check areas around your home for the possible presence of mold. While there are thousands of species of mold with vast characteristic differences, there are some general similarities in appearance. Common types of mold in homes will usually present as light to dark spots and/or streaks on surfaces, walls, ceilings, and floors. If you see any patterns like this on walls, floors, ceilings, cupboards, surfaces, or other areas then you should contact a professional mold inspection company. Licensed mold inspectors will be able to perform a visual inspection and if needed run an air quality test.

 

11. Fix water damage issues and/or mold damage quickly.

A large factor in dealing with mold exposure is response time. If mold is present or suspected of being present, you want to act quickly to reduce your exposure, stop the growth from getting worse, and cutting of the water and/or moisture source that is feeding the mold. The quicker you act, the less exposure time you have to the mold. You can also reduce the cost of damages associated with mold growth by catching it early before it spreads to more parts of your home. Often mold remediation requires not only the removal of the mold but also the parts of the home it has grown into. This can result in drywall removal, cabinet displacement, or other extensive work that will then need to be replaced by a renovation and remodeling company.

While these are some of the most important steps that we see can be taken to reducing mold exposure, please share with us if you think of any that should also be listed.

 

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. “Mold – Basic Facts”. http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
  2. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. 2016. “Types of Allergies, Mold Allergy”. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/mold-allergy
  3. Heaton Environmental. 2014. “Mold forces Duluth family out of apartment, causes illness CBS Atlanta News 3”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evZ5-wiWRl0
Tucson Mold Remediation From Moisture Pros

Mold can exist in the Tucson Desert

By | Tucson Mold Blog | No Comments

Mold can exist in the Tucson Desert. Don’t believe me? According to the CDC, mold can grow anywhere moisture exists. Think about that for a moment…all mold needs to thrive are moisture, food, and the right temperature. So, that makes is easy for mold be everywhere. Mold is everywhere on the planet, in all climates. Mold can exist anywhere in Tucson. Most people believe because Tucson is in the desert, the desert climate prevents mold from forming but this is a misconception.

Even in the driest of climates (like a desert), water can collect with help from things like a roofing leak, plumbing leak, or condensation helping mold to grow in places like walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Or even from the moisture pumped into your house from your swamp cooler. Most home owners are surprised to realize they have mold in the desert under relatively dry conditions. Water is suspect and water damage usually goes hand in hand with mold growing because water is the life-blood of mold.

in most cases mold can grow in varying light conditions. Another misconception about mold is that it requires darkness to grow. Some mold will grow in pure sunlight despite the heat. As long as there is a food and water source, with or without light, mold can pop up anywhere in the Tucson desert.

Mold feeds off of all the things we like to build with, but most of all it loves household dust. So, mold will find food just about everywhere.

The warmth and climate that mold needs is just about the same temperature range that we as humans find the most comfortable.

The Point: Every home has mold but not every home has a mold problem. If you think you might have a mold problem, don’t ignore it. Get help.

Bleach Does Not Complete A Tucson Mold Remediation

Mold will outlive bleach

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Mold will outlive bleach for many reasons but this misconception is as old as bleach itself. This is a common belief that bleach has the capability of removing mold and restoring mold infested structures and materials, but can it completely remove mold once and for all? There are multiple ways to answer this question. While bleach is a cleaner that has a slight capability of removing the appearance of mold, it has been proven to do little in the efforts of completely killing mold. And just because you can’t see it, doesn’t always mean it isn’t there. Bleach can also prove to be more hazardous than helpful, especially if it is used in great quantity.

What is Bleach?

Bleach is a chemical solution that is believed to be capable of cleaning surfaces. There are multiple types of bleach, including peroxide, oxygen, and chlorine bleach, which is the most common type of bleach. It is commonly known for being a solution to get rid of mold. Many people use bleach because it is usually readily available around the house and is a cheaper solution to other alternatives. Although bleach is capable of damaging the presence of mold, bleach does not kill mold. It is also proven to be toxic and dangerous for people and animals. In this contest, mold will outlive bleach well after bleach has been applied.

Why Bleach Does Not Help.

Liquid bleach is a chemical solution of 6% sodium hypochlorite and 94% water. Though it may seem like it eliminates mold through its use, the reality is that it barely scratches the surface. It may be effective in removing the discoloration that is left by the mold, but the spores of the mold; or micro-flora, still remain. The main objective of killing mold is killing its roots. Even after the use of bleach, the mold roots remain intact, leaving it still able to grow again. In addition, bleach is not effective on all surfaces and materials. Bleach can only contact mold on non-porous materials and surfaces like tiles, glass etc. Materials or surfaces which have holes or openings; porous materials, cannot be properly penetrated by Bleach, thus rendering it ineffective for a wide variety of surfaces. Porous materials will absorb moisture in too deeply and trap it, which will make it a lot more difficult to clean in full. As stated earlier, the bleach will not be able to cover what is under the surface of these materials. Once the chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) evaporates, which happens quickly, the water that is left will only feed the mold. That’s why it only seems to remove the mold for a short period of time. Bleach is also unable to protect surfaces from growing mold in the future, leaving them even more vulnerable since it is made up of more than 90% of water. Bleach is capable of weakening over time, even if it is left unopened on the shelf. This can mean that a weak bleach product would not be able to damage the mold it is applied on. This can happen even if the bleach is in a sealed container. In fact, bleach starts to lose most of its power after it is opened.

Why Bleach Is More Hazardous Than Helpful.

Whenever bleach is to be used for the removal of mold, precautionary steps must be taken for it to be less harmful on the person using it. Mold outlives bleach every time. Bleach is a very strong and corrosive chemical, which is very capable of causing harm to a person’s skin, possibly leaving chemical burns and other types of damage. Protective gear such as gloves is recommended for use before handling bleach. Bleach is very detrimental to a person’s vision and can render a person blind, so protective eyewear such as safety glasses is recommended as well. Even a small amount of Bleach can leave strong fumes present around the home, even with open windows and ventilation. Once bleach is mixed with other chemicals like ammonia, they can create very dangerous gases. The gases that is left from bleach can be very dangerous to people and animals that could be more vulnerable to it. Federal agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have previously condoned use of bleach, but now strongly advise against its use, and for good reasons. You will not be able to find a bleach product that is registered under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The fact that bleach requires a few precautions before using says more about it being more harm than help.

There are other substances that are non-toxic that can be used to kill mold such as sodium borate (Borax), tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and vinegar. These materials are a lot less harmful than bleach and should be considered before the use of bleach. There are many biocides that will remove mold. However, it could also be a potential health threat to you or your pets. Even if you gas or fog the mold with biocide, you’re still going to be left with a house full of dead mold. Unfortunately, dead mold can be just as harmful as live mold is to your health. If the cause of the moisture isn’t identified and solved, carefully removed by properly trained mold remediation specialists, and then replaced with new clean & dry material, the mold infestation will continue to thrive.

Proper Mold Remediation Procedures.

There are proper mold remediation, or mold removal, procedures that must be taken. First, properly trained mold remediation technicians in bio suites and respirators isolate the work area with plastic sheeting, then setup HEPA-filtered fans blowing the air outside creating a negative air pressure, and then remove the mold infected drywall, carpet, carpet padding, etc. The mold ridden items are then placed in bags; the bags are wiped down, and then are carried outside for remediation. This procedure will avoid the rest of the location being contaminated by the mold spores released during the mold remediation process, similar to asbestos remediation.

In conclusion, Bleach may help to remove very small amounts of mold, but contacting our professional mold remediation specialists will be required in most cases. Contact Tucson Mold through our website or call us at 520-257-4064 today for your professional mold remediation needs and expertise.

Mold Remediation Required For All Molds

Mold can still be a problem …even if unseen.

By | Tucson Mold Blog | No Comments

Mold can still be a problem, even if unseen or not smelled. Believe it or not, most mold goes unseen to the dismay of homeowners who find it in unsuspecting places.  This is because mold can and will grow anywhere water can be. Mold is very capable of growing in complete isolation inside wall cavities, between floors and ceilings, and even in attics. If a mold is hidden from sight, and cut off from the flow of the air you’re breathing, you probably won’t even smell it. Many people who find mold are shocked that their home had mold simply because of it’s location and because they could not smell or see it. Mold can still be a problem, even if unseen. The CDC lists many of the answers people may need about mold and the illnesses that come from exposure to it

However, molds produce chemicals that can penetrate walls and get into your lungs without you even knowing it. there are two types of chemicals: microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), and mycotoxins. .These chemicals can make you very sick without you even know what’s happening until you are sick. Some people never discover mold until they go to the doctor and find out their is an external cause to their respiratory illness which likely is mold within their home.  Mold produces many symptoms for illness that can be serious if left untreated. Mold is nothing to play around with as it can be very toxic.

Common symptoms of exposure to VOCs include:
Short-Term (Acute) Symptoms

  • Fuzzy brain and/or dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Sore, red and/or itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Asthma attacks
  • nose and/or throat irritations

Long-Term (Chronic) Symptoms

  • Liver or kidney damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Cancer

The Point: If someone in your home is chronically in, and especially if they feel better away from their home than when they are home, a professional mold inspection & possibly a mold removal.

Mold Remediation Experts

Mold? a toxin

By | Tucson Mold Blog | No Comments

Mold? a toxin. Yep it is. There is mounds of documentation showing the negative health impact of exposure to mold, black mold or other molds.

“Health effects (of mold exposure) generally fall into four categories. These four categories are allergy, infection, irritation (mucous membrane and sensory), and toxicity,” says Dr. Harriet Ammann of the Washington State Department of Health’s Ecology Department.

In Dr. Ammann’s paper on mold she sites an outstanding example of mold toxicity, peanut allergy. Peanuts contain high amounts of mold, a type of mold that produces the most deadly carcinogen known to man: Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by two types of mold: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus (http://arizonaadvancedmedicine.com/articles/kid_food.html), and peanuts seem to be especially vulnerable. In the case of the peanut, the argument is that it’s actually the reaction to this toxic substance, not an actual allergy to peanuts that causes the severe allergic reactions.

The reality is that this mold can invade all types of organic substances where the conditions are favorable for it’s growth, mainly high moisture and high temperature. And weather Aflatoxin causes allergic reactions or not is not the main concern, although important in the discussion of mold reactions, the main concern is that the potent carcinogen it produces is the most potent known to science and is known to be a cause of cancer.

Mold is a health risk to anyone who comes into contact with it and it is worse than an unwanted house guest because of the damage it can do to your home and you. This is why finding out if you have a mold problem and having the mold removed is such an important issue to have taken care of.

Tucson Mold Removal have been assessing and removing mold for nearly 20 years in the Tucson area. Our technicians are trained to identify mold on sight to let you know what kind of problem you may have.

The black mold myth

The Black Mold myth

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The black mold myth is out there. It is true that there are certain strains that seem to be more toxic than others, but of the more than 100,000 species of mold (experts are still not entirely sure exactly how many strains there are) only about 50 – 60 of them have been found to be hazardous to human health. However, the rest still effect people’s health, especially people who have sensitivity to mold (which is most of the population) or people who have suppressed immune systems.

Our bodies can handle a number of problems but there unfortunately cannot remain healthy in an environment made toxic by mold and this is why having an expert assess your problem is vitally important. The CDC states that “black mold” is commonly found in homes.

“Black mold”, stachybotrys chartarum, is a tertiary mold and is very slow to develop. It will usually grows after other mold has already grown, and will actually feed off the previous mold colonies.

Since stachybotrys’ spores are heavier than most other molds, it is reluctant to become airborne. Since it is heavier, it’s difficult to detect with the settling plate’s big-box stores sell. Most won’t even grow stachybotrys at all because their culture medium is wrong.

There is “technically” no such thing as “black mold.” However there are mold that can cause you harm after you have been exposed to the mold for a length of time. As well, there is no such thing as good mold, or even tolerable mold because all indoor mold signifies a moisture problem within the home. A qualified technician must look at the potential problem to assess if there is a danger to you and your home and if they can detect mold.

Our technicians are experts at debunking the black mold myth and assessing your potential mold and moisture problems. Please contact us today to schedule your assessment today!

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