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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.

A Painter’s View of Mold and Mildew: Part 1

Under normal conditions, most of us would not expect mold and mildew to interfere with a painting job. Instead, we might find sanding to do, maybe a few nicks in the wall to spackle, and possibly some dust to remove.

For a painter, surface preparation is always an essential part of a quality paint job. Still, on inspection, the presence of mold indicates that painting will have to be postponed, until the area is cleansed properly.

The presence of bacterial growth, especially in a room of one’s home, would make most people cringe, and walk away. However, if one views it in a safe way, then cleaning it will be of little trouble.

For certain, I recommend wearing snuggly-fitting long rubber gloves, a paper hazard suit, eye goggles, and an organic vapor respirator. Especially, when there is quite a bit to remove. By the way, you do not want any of the solution and/or vapors to seep into any part of your body.

As far as products go, bleach appears to be the most effective, affordable, and readily available product. When it comes to using a healthy and safe product, bleach is not the choice by far. Get online/on the internet, and you will find a variety of organic and non-volatile mold and mildew removal products that can be mixed with water.

As I found out the hard way, cleaning mold, when using a respirator, is ineffective sometimes. If you are going to be doing a lot of mold and mildew removal with bleach, your best bet is to use a fresh-air supply respirator system. This will ensure that bleach will not get in your eyes and/or in your lungs.

My preferred method of mold and mildew removal is to use a garden sprayer to apply a chemical solution to the affected surfaces. When the mold is very heavy, I recommend spraying two applications, with about a five-minute interval between the applications.

As this is done, a towel or sponge can be used to wipe the areas where the mold is releasing at a slower rate. As this is taking place, it is then a good idea to have a fan on to circulate the air in the room. After the mildew has disappeared, it will take some time for the odor to dissipate. So, be patient.

During the time that you are cleaning mildew, watch for the physical symptoms that the mildew and/or especially the chemical (bleach) solution is affecting you. Look for watering and/or burning eyes, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and skin rashes. Mentally, you may notice disorientation, lack of focus, and confusion. If you notice any of these, and/or any other unusual, symptoms, get out of the environment. Be safe and be careful.

As far as products are concerned, there are many available options. Yet, only very few have the effectiveness of bleach, without the toxicity.

The first, Moldstat, is a concentrated peroxide-based cleaner, and it is very effective. Next, Molderizer is an organic remover, sold in five-gallon containers, and is also concentrated. The last, Vital-Oxide, is a antimicrobial and disinfectant. This product contains chlorine dioxide, which is said to have little odor.

Of the three, I prefer Moldstat. You can make up to twenty-one gallons of solution per package of concentrate. That makes it extremely cost-effective.

As you may know, painting is secondary to removing mold or mildew from an infected area. Yet, once this is completed, you may need to repair the surface of the wall, or even cut out sections of drywall that were severely affected, and replace the drywall.

When it’s okay to paint, get out your primer and/or finish. Brush where you need to brush – eg. corners, tight spots, around window and door frames. Then, roll the paint on to bring your walls back to life.

The presence of mold and/or mildew is a certainty, as long as the conditions for its existence are met. And, at certain times of the year with temperature change, and higher humidity, the mold and mildew are going to grow.

Important footnote: It is prudent to use all protective gear that is provided, or available. Every time that you must expose yourself to mold and mildew.

By the way, there are many employees who, as part of their jobs, are exposed to mold and mildew, and a bleach product to clean it. Especially, in prolonged hot and humid environmental conditions.Often, they are not properly equipped, through safety precautions, which can protect their health in the long run.

Bottom line: Mold and mildew must be handled – remediated – before any painting or finishing can be done.

Thanks for stopping by. And, stay safe!

Bob the Painter

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