Mold Exposure (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Mold facts
- What is mold?
- Where can mold be found in homes?
- What kinds of health problems may be linked to mold? What are symptoms and signs of mold allergy?
- How can mold in the household be prevented?
- Is it necessary to test for mold?
- How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?
- Find a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?
Mold cleanup procedures are somewhat dependent upon the extent of contamination and the type of surface that has been contaminated. Large areas of mold may require the services of a professional contractor who is skilled in mold cleanup and remediation. Hard surfaces that harbor mold may be scrubbed with detergent and water, and these should be dried completely. Porous or absorbent materials (such as cloth, ceiling tiles, carpets, etc.) may have to be discarded if they become moldy. In some cases, a dilute solution of chlorine bleach (no stronger than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) or stronger commercial cleaners may be needed to kill the mold.
Be sure to discuss any health concerns with a health-care professional prior to attempting mold removal if sensitive to molds. When washing with soap and water, rubber gloves are recommended, but for bleach and harsher cleaning agents, nonporous gloves (for example, natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC) should be worn along with protective eyewear. Wearing an N-95 respirator (available at many hardware stores) can further limit exposure to airborne mold or spores when cleaning. Avoid touching moldy surfaces with bare hands.
After mold removal, it is important to prevent further regrowth of mold by keeping affected areas as dry as possible.
"Adverse Human Health Effects Associated With Molds in the Indoor Environment." American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Feb. 24, 2011. <http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.h7g5iNu7.dpuf>.
"Damp Indoor Spaces and Health." Institute of Medicine. May 25, 2004. <http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Damp-Indoor-Spaces-and-Health.aspx>.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Mold: Basic Facts." May 22, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm>.
U.S. Environmental Protection Association (EPA). "Molds and Moisture." July 25, 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/mold/>.
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
- Submit »
Allergies & Asthma
Improve treatments & prevent attacks.