AIHce: Mold: Prevention is Key

A panel of top mold experts from the United States and Canada offered practical tips on preventing mold problems for homes and businesses at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) this week in San Diego.

Don Weekes, CIH, CSP, president, Abacus Environmental in Ellington, Conn., noted that many mold problems occur when homeowners are away and leaks occur. "Wet materials must be dried out or they will mold quickly Water damage should be handled within hours not days," Weekes said.

The experts noted that if a mold problem develops, it is important to get advice from a qualified third party. "Some people who call themselves mold specialists have a monetary interest in mold remediation or cleanup," cautioned Jack Springston, CIH, CSP, director of Field Operations, Ambient Group Inc., New York. He noted a certified industrial hygienist (CIH) can assess the situation and make recommendations.

Edward N. Light, CIH, of Building Dynamics in Ashton, MD, noted that mold is always associated with water problems. "Mold can not grow without water," he said.

"Housecleaning helps keep mold under control," added J. David Miller, Ph.D., Carleton University, Department of Chemistry, Ottawa, Ont. "Mold grows on window frames, in refrigerator drip pans, and other areas that gather moisture. Cleaning these areas regularly can prevent a problem," he explained.

Kenneth Dillon, Ph.D., CIH, University of Alabama, School of Public Health, Birmingham, noted that when it comes to mold, "an ounce of prevention is the key. Mold problems can be prevented."

Visit AIHA's Web site at www.aiha.org for a fact sheet.

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