Although air testing is a standard part of mold assessment, it does not always follow that cleaning the air or lowering the humidity will control a mold problem. If the mold has found a good place to multiply (as it usually has), the first step is to locate their home base. This may or may not be close to the area where the air smells like mold or where people are complaining of headaches and other reactions to mold exposure.
The mold removal products described here have to be used near the source of the mold, or in the same room with it.
Aseptrol packets are described in the trial issue of this newsletter. They are distributed by Starbrite, which calls them “new formaldehyde-free formula Mildew Control Bags.” They contain 20% sodium chlorite and 80% “other ingredients” which combine when the humidity rises to a level that supports the growth of mold, and release gaseous chlorine dioxide at a much lower level than OSHA specifies as the maximum safe exposure level. They are hung in a closed room or other enclosure over a period of several days or weeks, until the mold is gone. The packets are usually used up in three months. Aseptrol is safer than ethylene oxide or formaldehyde, which have been widely used to disinfect mold books and paper. It is also a pretty good deodorizing agent, probably because of its oxidizing action. And it is also economical: about $3.00 per packet. Two bags will take care of mold in a recreational vehicle up to 20 feet long. For more information, call Starbrite at 1-800-937-2628 and ask for an outlet near you, because they do not sell directly to consumers.
Ultraviolet light is used in operating rooms to eliminate airborne spores, and has been recommended for use in homes as well. However, the UV light source will do little good if it is not hung over or near a trouble spot, typically the drip pan under the air conditioner coils, where mold multiplies. The drip pan is often inaccessible or hard to reach, however, so a way has to be found, if water is found to be collecting there during periods when the air conditioner is working hard to cool the building. This is a job that would normally be planned and/or done, by an air conditioning company.
Assessment of microbial contamination in wall cavities presents a number of problems. Typical destructive testing performed to gain access for visible inspection and surface sampling should be avoided. The WallChek is a novel nondestructive sampling device for assessing microbial contamination in wall cavities. It is a hollow cylindrical tube 2.5 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. One end of the tube is machined to attach the Air-O-Cell cassette, the other is sealed, except for a 1/4 inch tapered hole into which a 4-inch section of 1/4 tygon tubing is inserted. The tubing has a beveled end to ensure proper airflow when inserted airflow when inserted into a wall cavity. The Air-O-Cell Cassette utilizes spore-trap technology for the microscopic analysis of fungal spores, pollen, dust particles, and fibers. Most common fungal genera can be positively identified including Stachybotrys spores.
For more information go to http://www.aerotechlabs.com/tipdetal.cfm.
Note: Descriptions of products and services in this newsletter do not constitute endorsement.