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Painter’s World: What You May Not Know About Black Mold

Never believe something cannot harm you just because you can’t see it. Just as a virus or bacteria can cause an infection, Black Mold fungi, offers its own type of threat to your health.


Basically, anything which is microscopic and exhibits the definition of being alive supports its own defense mechanism. And that’s against us.


Black Mold, or other similar fungi, produces spores which are unseen to the naked eye. During the stages of their metabolism, they produce by-products which are often toxic. These toxins interfere with the normal metabolism and respiration of humans.




I didn’t know much about Fungi, Black Mold, Myotoxins, etc. until I started looking into it further. The following is a list of three of the most dangerous effects from mold exposure:


1. Mold inhalation – Decreased hemoglobin red blood cell concentration, lowered blood gas concentration, anemia, and bronchial and/or sinus inflammation and infection.

 Symptoms: Dizziness, muscle spasms-tremors, headaches, stressed breathing, clamped oxygen supply, runny nose, burning eyes, confusion, and blurred vision.


2. Mold Skin Contact AbsorptionAnemia, change in basal respiration rate, lowered blood gas concentration, subcutaneous pustules, lesions, and widespread rash.

Symptoms: Skin irritation, itching, burning, dizziness.


3. Long-Term Effects (most important) -Prolonged exposure that often causes an irreversible anemic health condition. Stem cell differentiation development within the bone marrow that’s affected by cases severe mold exposure. Change in the Hemostasis of hemoglobin/red cell relationship is altered.

***Secondary effects – Permanent respiratory illnesses such as chronic and/or acute Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Asthma, and Sinus tract cysts; irritation and/or inflammation of the mucus membranes. Also partial obstruction of the airway. Because of past exposure, susceptibility to allergic reactions from common dust and pollen.




1. When cleaning: Wear protective suit, gloves and head covering; also proper respiratory equipment such as a charcoal, organic vapor respirator, or a self-contained, fresh air supply system. Note: Dust mask is totally inadequate.

2. If infestation is invasive: Use garden sprayer with 50/50 bleach-water, or peroxide solution. Spray infected area. Promptly remove yourself from the area until the solution has degraded the mold. Then you may clean and remove by hand what is left. When the removal of mold is completed, rinse entire area with fresh water – either by hand or with a garden sprayer.

3. Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate! In the area where you’re working, always provide adequate ventilation when spraying bleach or similar toxic chemicals. Open windows. And use circulating fans. The cleaning process will be much safer, and go much smoother.




1. Seek a clean, fresh air environment as soon as possible. Go outside if necessary.

2. Get help now! Someone needs to assist you and call “Emergency 911” and “Poison Control” – your chief engineer,  security director, member of management, teammate.

3. If you suffer a rash or burn of any kind, use a baking soda/water solution, calamine lotion, or a hygienic glycerol soap to help reduce skin irritation.

4. In severe cases, it may be necessary to get a steroid injection. This depends on whether or not your entire body is affected.



…what you don’t know will hurt you.


1. I developed both chronic and acute sinusitis from daily exposure to massive amounts of toxic levels of mold plus the toxic cleaning agents, over a period of six years.

2. On a daily basis, I took the proper precautions. I used the products and safety tools and equipment provided and authorized by the chief engineer, and property management and owners.

3. But the amount of mold was too great, for too long of a time.  According to health and environmental specialists, “a person could not have come out of it without suffering ill effects.”

4. The physicians have said I was fortunate. A strong majority of persons develop Asthma. In addition, a large number are also diagnosed, eventually, with Sinus and Bronchial Cancer, and/or Lung Cancer.



Whether at home or on the job, take your time. And work safely.

Take care of yourself and the others around you.


Everyone wants to go home at the end of the day!

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


Steel Wool Guide and Sandpaper Grit Chart



Painters and decorators are always on the lookout for better, easier ways to run their paintshops, and workshops. Example: I keep an electronic “guidebook.” Tabbed and indexed. Set up so I can select, then print out any part, as needed. Some part of it goes with me, nearly everywhere.


Thirteen tips from Bob’s Painting and Decorating Guidebook.©

1.Keep sandpaper sheets and scraps organized.

Needed: Expandable accordion-style file folder – $4.99 up.

A. Assign/label each compartment a sandpaper grid number.

B. Include the following categories: Emery, Discs, Dovetail, Screens

C. File your sandpaper in the appropriate section.


2. Organize your small supply of screws, nut, bolts, washers, etc.

Needed: Plastic organizer box, with adjustable or molded dividers.

A. Place each type and length of screw in a separate section.

B. On lid, draw horizontal and vertical lines that correspond with dividers inside.

C. Label each section with the type and size of pieces shown underneath. Use permanent marker pen tip.


3. Organize your small supply of nails in the same way.


4. Use a self-made wall and shelf unit to store extra shop-vac hose and attachments.

Building tips: Backboard: Plywood, 3/4 or 1 inch; shelf: 1 inch. Attachment holders: Plastic pvc/plumbing connectors. Hose: Garden hose holder/bracket, wall-mount.


5. Make tack cloths for wood finishing from cheesecloth. Excellent, affordable choice!

Needed: 1 or 2 yards of new/clean cheesecloth – dense weave.

A. Cut cheesecloth into 6-inch or 12-inch squares.

B. In discarded small cooking pot, bring linseed oil and varnish to boil. Remove from heat.

C. Dampen cheesecloth squares in mixture.

D. Store in covered, heavy glass jars, with tight lid.


6. Revitalize paint brushes, hardened with old product.

A. Shellac residue – Soak overnight in alcohol. Rinse and wash in trisodium phosphate (tsp) solution. Use brush comb to help clean and condition bristles.

B. Other products – Soak in paint and varnish stripper to dissolve gunk. Rinse with TSP and comb. Product examples: Latex, polyurethane, wood finisher.

C. Dried product solvent known – Soak brush in that product. Example: lacquer thinner.

— Then use a stripper. Product examples: StripX Stripper, Woodfinisher’s Pride.


7. Evaporate water-based paint products safely before disposing of cans.

A. Set open cans in ventilated area.

B. Allow old product to evaporate completely.

C. Replace lids on cans, if possible.


8. Dispose of left-over oil-based products, solvents, paint removers, and most water-based products at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.

A. Store in cool, dark, dry location in paint shop.

B. Keep out of sunlight, and off of damp concrete floor.

C. Leave each product in original container, with its label still affixed and legible as possible.

TIP: If label is not legible (dried paint), print product name on outside of can, using black permanent marking pen.


9. De-activate oil and other chemicals soaked into old rags.

A. Drop used rags into bucket of water, when through with them.

B. Properly dispose of rags at hazardous waste disposal/collection site.


10. Choose chemical strippers with care. Then, follow label instructions.

A. Avoid dangerous solvents. Examples: Methylene chloride, acetone, tuolene, xylene.

B. Safer choices: Organic-active ingredients; slow evaporation.


11. Use plenty of sawdust shavings to soak up residue from chemical stripping.


12. Store finishing and other flammable products in sturdy, locked metal cabinet.

TIP: A used office cabinet works for this.


13. Keep assortment of clean steel wool/abrasive pads in shop.


My father showed me how to set up a paint shop. He made it very clear WHY it was important to know that. I was only 10 or 11.
“Suppose you have two minutes to grab your tools, and head out to the site. What can you afford to show up without? Nothing, Son, when you need it NOW!”




FREE GO-TO GUIDES: Click on post: Steel Wool Guide and Sandpaper Grit Chart.


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Special thanks to the following: and’s group; also,

Home Depot’s Bill, and; and’s commercial consulting.

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Thank you, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob,” and for connecting.


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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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