Mold

Moisture intrusion and dampness are the most important factors in the promotion of microbial growth in buildings. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has indicated that fungal growth is likely where an organic food sources is exposed to water for more than a few days or to prolong periods of elevated relative humidity at normal room temperature. Exposure to elevated levels of molds can cause health complaints of allergy, upper respiratory irritation, sinusitis, and eye irritation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded “sufficient epidemiological evidence is available from studies conducted in different countries and under different climatic conditions to show that the occupants of damp or moldy buildings, both houses and public buildings, are at increased risk of respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections and exacerbation of asthma.”

When water damage occurs it is imperative that the affected areas are aggressively dried (usually through fans and dehumidifiers) so that building materials are completely dry within a few days. The American Industrial Hygiene Association has indicated that fungal growth is likely where an organic food source is exposed to water for more than 24 to 48 hours or to prolonged periods of elevated relative humidity at normal room temperature. Growth of molds in plaster, paint, sheetrock, ceiling tiles and insulation can lead to the amplification of airborne fungi and bacteria including higher levels of airborne spores and microbial fragments. Water damaged materials often support microbial growth even after they are dry, and dead material (spores, antigens, toxins, irritants) can remain in such material for years.

Please report chronic water leaks and flooding events to the union as soon as possible (for example, roof, plumbing and radiator leaks, condensation on surfaces and pipes, flooding events, etc).  

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