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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.

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT BLACK MOLD

 

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.

 

HEALTH PREVENTION OF MOLD EXPOSURE

 

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.

 

IF AND WHEN YOU’RE EXPOSED TO MOLD…

 

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.

 

IN THE CASE OF MOLD EXPOSURE…

…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.

 

WHEN TREATING MOLD…

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

Take care of yourself and the others around you.

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

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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HIDDEN TOXIC MOLD AND MILDEW: A PAINTER’S VIEW

Toxic mold and mildew can hide in the most unsuspected areas, and on the most surprising surfaces. Given the right conditions, it can grow nearly anywhere in the world.

 

In the tropics and other moist, humid climates, the challenge of finding and keeping up with their mitigation and remediation tends to be relentless, exhausting, and costly, also dangerous health and safety wise.

 

Where does BLACK and GREEN MOLD – eg. stachybotrys chartarum – like to hide?

 

Short list of potential sites for hidden mold and mildew: *

 

  1. Wallpaper, drywall, paneling, cork: back side
  2. Ceiling tiles: top side
  3. Carpet, padding: underside
  4. Walls: inside, especially around piping, wall joists
  5. Furniture: surface facing wall behind, and/or adjacent
  6. Ductwork: inside
  7. Roof materials: above ceiling tiles
  8. Refrigerators: under/behind/around pans, door seals, ice cube maker connections, motor.
  9. Air conditioner/heating system: inside/under/behind covers, vents; around tubing, hoses.
  10. Drapes/linings/valances/swags: back side, folds; around/inside rods, around hardware.
  11. Bedspreads/skirts: undersides/backsides, especially edges touching flooring.
  12. Shower curtains/liners: behind, between, in folds.
  13. Tiles – wall, ceiling, floor: behind/around/under ceramic, vinyl, plastic.
  14. Exterior tiles and borders: on top/under/around.

 

* Note: This list represents a small number of potential hidden sites.

 

How do you INVESTIGATE for the PRESENCE of toxic mold and mildew?

 

1. Wear protective gear:

A. Preferred: Disposable hooded full-body suit, including shoe covers; also, gloves, free-standing breathing apparatus, snug eye goggles.

B. Basic: Long sleeved shirt, long pants, disposable long plastic gloves, snug fitting eye goggles, breathing mask.

 

2. Follow basic procedure:

 

  • Temporarily TURN OFF all systems that will move or stir the air in the area where you are checking, also all electrical systems.
  • Rely on your sight. DO NOT touch or disturb the area.
  • Try to shine a flashlight into and behind the area.
  • SLOWLY and gently pull back two edges/corners (in different spots) of wallpaper, drywall, tile, paneling, carpeting, pad, etc.

 

How to REMOVE hidden black and green mold and mildew.

 

Call a licensed mitigation and remediation specialist.

 

***WARNING: DO NOT try to handle any hidden mold and mildew problem on your own.

 

How to identify YOUR EXPOSURE to hidden black and green mold and mildew.

 

1. Watch for exposure to bio-contaminants (black mold, fungi, bacteria, virus) caused by exposure and moisture problems, poor maintenance and inadequate ventilation.

2. It can cause serious, life-threatening effects, disease, damage, and impairments.

 

Know the signs and symptoms of exposure to hidden mold and mildew.

 

1. Discomfort level – Associated with climatic conditions, especially when building contamination may be implicated (eg. “Sick Building Syndrome”).
***SYMPTOMS: Feel too hot/too cold, eye/nose/throat irritation; air too dry, stuffy, strange odor; feel sluggish, body aches, fatigue, odd taste in mouth, coughing.

 

2. Acute effects level – Within 24-hours of exposure.
***SYMPTOMS: Headaches; blurry vision, difficulty focusing; red/watery/burning eyes; difficulty breathing/getting air; nasal congestion/burning; dizziness; sore chest, lungs, rib cage; itchy skin/rash; fatigue; odd taste in mouth; upset stomach.

 

3. Chronic effects level – Long-lasting response to long-term/frequent exposure, even low concentration.
*** SYMPTOMS: Respiratory disease, skin disease, chronic/acute sinus infections and sinusitis, cognitive impairments, CNS damage, strokes, cancer, vision loss, hearing loss, hair loss/graying.

 

Important Note: Hair graying tends to be rather “sudden” and very noticeable.

For more information: www.epa.gov; www.osha.gov, www.sickbuildingsyndrome.gov.

 

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“Your world – your environment – includes every cell, tissue, neuron, fiber, muscle, tendon, bone, etc. of your body. PROTECT IT!  PROTECT YOURSELF!” rdh

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Many thanks for keeping in touch, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2013, 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

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