Toxic Mold's Health Risks Growing

Sep 4 06:54 2008 Peter Kent Print This Article

Mold often is a quiet danger that slowly creeps into ones house, however, it can quickly become a dangerous threat to the health of those exposed to it. Individuals must know and understand how to dissolve any potential risks by contacting the appropriate authoritites.

Mold is one of the earliest organisms on this planet. It is ubiquitous; it can be found almost anywhere indoors and outdoors. Molds grow at different temperatures and humidity conditions.

However,Guest Posting many species of molds grow the best in humid climates and in areas of high humidity. Bathrooms are often considered breeding grounds fo mold because of the warm air and moistness often found there. Although, mold, unfortunately, can grow in frigid environments as well - case and point - moldy food in a refrigerator.

However, if mold is practically everywhere and has been around for forever, why then is the problem of toxic mold relatively new? Due to the energy crisis of the 1970s, building construction techniques changed. As toxic mold began to become more prevalent the construction of airtight buildings, homes, retail stores, schools, all so as to keep warm air from escaping out of windows and doors in the wintertime to decrease the risk of toxic mold growth. Building materials have also changed over time.

Also, avoid using building materials that utilize paper or cellulose, which offer food and an ideal environment for spore-producing mold to flourish.

These paper-based building materials can provide mold a perfect growing environment when they become wet or moist. This is why toxic mold can become such a problem when flooding occurs as is the case for those parts of the southern United States hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

There are an array of conditions that can lead to the growth of toxic mold in a home, for example, condensation, water leaks, excessive moisture, plumbing failures, potted plants leaking, etc.

Toxic Mold, the EPA, and the Melina Bill

There are no established guidelines for the quality of indoor air; although, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a strategic plan-"Healthy Buildings, Healthy People: A Vision for the 21st Century" which includes priorities aimed directly at protecting human health indoors. The EPA is focusing their efforts on outreach, education, and technical assistance for non-regulatory programs including toxic mold where geography and climate causes it to be an issue.

In addition, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., D-Michigan, has introduced a bill into the House of Representatives (H.R. 1268) to challenge and advise victims on the severe risks of toxic mold, entitled "The United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act (also referred to as "The Melina Bill"). Major provisions of the bill include the following:

* Research and public education: scientifically examine the effects of different molds on human health; certification of mold inspectors and remediators; education of the public;

* Housing and real property provisions: requirement of inspections within multi-unit residential property and mold inspections for all property purchased or leased using funds allocated by the federal government; requirement for mold inspections in public housing; when possible, modification of building codes of local jurisdictions to minimize mold hazards in new construction;

* Indoor mold hazard assistance: grants for mold removal in public buildings;

* Tax provisions: tax credits for inspection and/or remediation of toxic mold;

* National toxic mold insurance program: insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to protect against catastrophic losses due to toxic mold; and

* Health care provisions: offering toxic mold victims Medicaid.

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Peter Kent
Peter Kent

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