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|The Facts About
There has been a dramatic
increase nationwide in concern about mold and health effects. The term
"mold" describes more than a million species of microscopic fungi which
grow on wet organic matter. When excess moisture is present mold problems
can spread and proliferate rapidly. Mold spores are everywhere, including
the indoor environment. Under favorable conditions, spores germinate and
mold colonies grow and multiply.
What Are the Health Concerns with
Molds can produce a variety of allergenic
substances, odorous chemicals, and toxic metabolites. When it multiplies
and spreads indoors, high levels of mold can cause a spectrum of health
effects to include Hearing loss, Vomiting, Memory loss, and Asthmatic
lungs. The best way to
identify a mold problem is by visual inspection and following odors. If
mold (any type) can be seen or smelled, a mold problem exists.
Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Most are filamentous organisms and the production of spores is characteristic of fungi in general. These spores can be air-, water-, or insect-borne. Molds can be found almost anywhere.
Molds can grow on virtually any substance when moisture is present.
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce, just as plants produce seeds. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, even dynamite. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
Molds can trigger asthma episodes in individuals with an allergic reaction to mold.
How do molds affect people?
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, or wheezing. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.
Where are molds found?
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.
Second Wind® Air Products Remove Mold
Second Wind® Model 2000 and 2018 & Technology UV Air Purifiers can remove airborn mold spores in your entrire home. Also NeoAir and Airfree purifiers have been tested and certified to reduce and eliminate mold. It's an effective way of cleaning the air as you
remediate the origin of the mold in your home or office and eliminate all
types of mold spores.
• Safe germicidal protection destroys micro and macro
organisms in your environment such
as: spores, molds, mildews, fungi, gases, bacteria, viruses,
etc., including SARS,
Anthrax and E.coli.
technology! UV sterilization has
been used since the 1930's in hospitals, laboratories, and other areas
where airborne or surface contamination is of concern. The Second
Wind™ PCO technology is specifically designed to enhance and
maximize this sterilization process. It has been proven highly effective
by university studies and research groups. Now it is available for
• Saves Money! Compared to
most HEPA filter machines, which require expensive replacement filters,
this could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
• Saves Energy! Uses only
two 40 watt bulbs - a big energy saver when compared to motor and
fan-driven HEPA filter machines.
Cost! One-room air purifiers may make a
difference -- but just in that room. The truth is, you live
in more than one room and buying several room air purifiers is expensive.
Whole-house air purification is almost always the most cost-effective
solution. And because this air purification system uses no motors, fans,
filters, etc., this technology is relatively inexpensive compared to
Completely Silent! There are no fans, no
motors, no moving parts to create noise in your home. All the air in your
home is cleaned as it passes through your existing heating and A/C
ductwork. Now you can enjoy clean air while you sleep, watch TV, listen
to your stereo, or whatever you normally do in your home, without being
disturbed by any added noise.
• Uses None of Your Living Space -- Always Out of
Sight! If you have (or need) more than one
individual room air purifier in your house, think of how much room they
take up (and how much more you pay!). They all need floor space or
counter space and can be seen and heard. The Second Wind™ Model
2000 uses none of your living space whatsoever. It is completely quiet
and out of sight.
Model 2000 Best Seller
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Brand New Nobel Series
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Airfree P1000 and P2000 Air Sterilizers Bacteria and Mold Reduction Certified
Destroys 99.99% of all microorganisms including any type of fungi and spores, virus and bacteria. According to independent laboratory tests, the average airborne mold and bacteria reduction from Airfree is 85% to 95% in areas up to 550 sq ft. All tests were performed in “real life” conditions, not in small and closed chambers. These tests were done in laboratories around the world and they all proved its efficiency eliminating mold spore colonies up to 95%.
Austin Air Purifiers
Austin Healthmate Plus(More Info)
For the chemically sensitive who require the most comprehensive air cleaning solution available. The HealthMate+™ combines superior particulate filtration with advanced gas filtering capabilities to remove more household chemicals, gases and odors.
Mold Reduction Certification
Mold reduction efficiency of the Neoair Enviro 68108 with O.F.S. germicidal filter has been independently tested and reported by Applied Consumer Services. Test results are astonishing: the Enviro with O.F.S. filter technology has been able to drastically reduce up to 96% of mold spore colonies (Aspergillus Niger – ATCC No.16404) – in a room within 6 hours.
THE ULTRA-PURE™ Difference: Our air purifiers utilize up to 9 separate state-of-the-art air filtration and purifi-cation technologies allowing us to match and surpass the best aspects of competing air purifiers while avoiding their multiple shortcomings. Instead of just offering a handful of features that eliminate some air pollutants, some odors or
a few germs we integrate a complex set of technologies in all our home, office and car air purifiers which detect and eliminate harmful air pollutants, dangerous germs and noxious odors that other limited-technology air purifiers simply can't. Ultra-Pure™ technologies include... Automatic Air Quality Sensors, Activated Carbon, Negative Ion Generation, Ultraviolet Light, Washable Foam Pre-Filters, Photo-Catalyst Nano TiO2, Electrostatic Precipitators, On-Demand Activated Oxygen, HEPA Air Filters! By far the all-around Best Air Purifier
Allerair Air Purifiers
Combination UV &Hepa Air Purifiers: The HEPA air purifiers AllerAir Air Purifiers are ideal for someone who...
Has hyper chemical sensitivity to VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
Has odors or sensitivity to compounds released from a new home, new furniture, new carpeting or anything that releases VOCs
Is a heavy smoker or lives with persons who are heavy smokers
Needs to sterilize, kill and disinfect most germs, bacteria, microbes and viruses
Wants features commonly ordered for use in hostile or toxic air
environments such as medical facilities or government military buildings
in order to reduce potent airborne contaminants
Mold in the News
Fifty percent [50%] of homes contain problem molds.
A new medical study attributes nearly 100% of chronic sinus infections to
mold. A 300% increase in the asthma rate over the past 20 years has been
linked to molds, as reported in USA WEEKEND, Dec. 3-5,
A 1994 Harvard University School of Public Health
study of 10,000 homes in the United States and Canada found half had
conditions of water damage and mold associated with a 50 to 100%
increase in respiratory symptoms.
Last year Dr. David Sherris at the Mayo Clinic performed a study of
210 patients with chronic sinus infections and found that most had
allergic fungal sinusitis. The prevailing medical opinion has been that
mold accounted for 6 to 7 percent of all chronic sinusitis. [The Mayo
Clinic study] found that it was 93 percent-the exact reverse. [Newsweek,
Most homeowners believe that as long as they do not see visible signs
of mold, that is, patches of green, blue, or black discoloration on
surfaces, their environment is free of contamination. What they don't
realize, however, is that large accumulations of [hidden or concealed]
mold may be growing in areas that they cannot see, like remote attic or
basement spaces, or wall cavities. Left to multiply, these infestations
may produce enough organic compounds to cause allergic reactions,
sickness and, in extreme cases, death (a possibility with infants), wrote
Edward R. Lipinski in HOME CLINIC: The Battle Against Mold and
Mildew, NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 12, 1999.
All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can
produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma
attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent
toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important
reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing
indoor mold growth, noted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Because the effects of toxic mold (Stachybotrys) are similar to
Alzheimer's Disease [in such ways as the loss of memory and ability to
think logically], it is possible that relatives and friends of toxic mold
victims think that their relative's memory losses and mental diminishment
is a sign of advancing age, or of the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Medical researchers strongly believe that environmental factors help
trigger what is ultimately a genetic condition. [USA Weekend, Aug. 31-
Sept. 2, 2001, p. 6]
The following mold resources will help you understand the health and
environmental issues with indoor molds, controls, prevention, and
Molds, Toxic Molds, and Indoor Air Quality
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency New Residential
California Research Bureau Reports Molds, Toxic Molds,
and Indoor Air Quality
Minnesota Department of Health - Mold in Homes
Investigating Mold in Minnesota Public Schools
WHAT EVERY HOMEOWNER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MOLD
Not so long ago, the only image that word created was of something
fuzzy growing on a forgotten leftover, somewhere deep in the recesses
of your refrigerator. More recently, however, mold has acquired a more
foreboding image, that of an infestation that can threaten your home
and your health. Both images are correct, actually, because there are
many different kinds of mold. And for all the talk it's generating now
among homeowners, insurers and health-care providers, mold has been
That's because, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
mold spores constantly travel through the indoor and outdoor air. If
these spores are exposed to moisture, they can grow, digesting whatever
they're on, to reproduce. Outdoors, this process plays a key role in
the breakdown of leaves, wood and other plant debris. "In the forest,
it's nature's recycling plan," says Lloyd Osgood, a senior
microbiologist who analyzes mold for Environmental Laboratory Services
in North Syracuse. Indoors, however, mold growth can damage any number
of surfaces, particularly those with cellulose in them, including
drywall and carpeting. Also, some molds have been linked to respiratory
problems, particularly for those who suffer from allergies or asthma or
who have a compromised immune system.
But you could have mold and not experience any effects on your health.
Susan Anagnost, a wood-products biologist at the State University of
New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, says there is a
great deal of ongoing research studying mold. Anagnost says much of the
research examines three categories associated with the inhalation of
molds: allergens, infections and toxins. Many homeowners have heard of
one type of mold in particular, stachybotrys (pronounced
STACK-ee-BOT-ris). Although it's not the most common type of mold and
requires a longer exposure to water than other molds, it is among the
most toxic and has been linked to memory and hearing loss as well as
bleeding in the lungs. Stachybotrys was also the type of mold in a
well-publicized case where a Texas homeowner won a $32 million judgment
in 2001 against Farmers Insurance Group, that has since been reduced to
$4 million. Locally, in 2001 the Onondaga County Health Department
confirmed stachybotrys in at least two condominiums at Village Green,
near Baldwinsville, although random testing of more units ruled out a
larger problem, says Gary Sauda, the department's director of
Stachybotrys forced Mary E. Hamilton from her condominium at 736
Village Blvd. S. in October 2001. Hamilton, 75, who had lived at
Village Green since 1986, is suing the Hartford Insurance Co. and the
Village Green Homeowners' Association. The homeowners' association, her
suit claims, failed to correct defective cedar siding and roofing
materials that led to a moisture problem that allowed the infestation
of mold to grow inside her wall cavities, and the insurance company
refused to cover the cost of cleaning up the mold. Hamilton, who lived
with her daughter for more than a year, moved back to the condominium
in early December 2002. "I needed to get back in my own home," she
says. "After you live on your own for 24 years, you need your own
space." Hamilton says she's spent approximately $45,000 over the last
14 months to deal with the mold, an amount that includes having the
mold infestation cleaned. Hamilton says her expenses are likely to
increase, because many items in her garage still need to be evaluated
and cleaned, if possible.
Bob Krell, president of IAQ Technologies, Inc., a Syracuse indoor air
quality company, performed Hamilton's "remediation," the industry's
term for cleaning a mold infestation. In Hamilton's case, the mold was
growing inside a wall. Krell built a containment structure around the
repair area to limit airborne spores and removed the infested
materials, including drywall, insulation and carpeting. Often, sight
and smell are the first signs that mold may be present, although mold
also can grow undetected inside a wall or in areas where access is
limited, such as a crawl space. Hamilton's first clues, she says, were
on her bedroom carpet, where she found water and some orange spots.
Later, there was a strong musty odor. She also experienced respiratory
problems, including itchy eyes, a runny nose and a sore throat. "As
long as I was gone, I didn't have those symptoms," Hamilton says. "The
minute I would come back home, they did too."
Dealing with mold depends on how much mold there is and where it's
located. If you have a large area, or mold that's inaccessible, you
should hire an experienced indoor air quality consultant or a
remediation specialist to investigate. Krell and Osgood also say the
underlying cause of the mold must be addressed, or it will return.
Because mold spores germinate where there is excessive moisture, look
for the cause of the moisture and correct it. Proper ventilation is
crucial because it keeps air moving and controls your home's moisture
levels. Ventilation should be to the outside and not to areas where
moisture can collect and mold can grow. Osgood frequently finds mold on
the underside of roofs, in attic crawl spaces. "Be sure the vent pipes
from the bathroom go through the roof and out of the crawl space,"
Osgood says. "Otherwise, you can grow orchids up there."
Mold on the web
- Use high-efficiency furnace filters, which are designed to trap
more pollutants, and be sure they fit properly. Expect to pay more
(up to $12 each) for such filters than for ordinary fiberglass
- Use a vacuum cleaner with True HEPA filtration.
- Have your air conditioner and furnace serviced regularly and
consider a germicidal air purifier.
- Do a visual inspection of your home's exterior. Clean your
gutters and unclog your downspouts.
- Check your landscaping to be sure that water drains away from
There are dozens of resources to help homeowners and renters prevent or
clean up mold in their homes. Here is a partial listing of some sources
accessible via the Internet:
The Environmental Protection Agency. The
agency has a Web site devoted to mold, and it contains a handbook called
"Mold, Moisture and Your
Home." For those without access to the Internet, the agency has a
toll-free phone number with operators who can answer questions about
The National Association of Homebuilders. Its research center
also has a site devoted to mold.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency asked
the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine to review all
evidence of health
effects linked to mold. A study is expected in 2003.
The Indoor Air Quality Association, the group that certified
professionals who are trained to eradicate
mold from buildings.
The Policy Holders of America. A consumer group established to
help homeowners get mold claims reimbursed if their homeowner's policies
The Insurance Information Institute. A Web site of the insurance
industry that has information about mold
claims from the industry's point of view.
The National Association of Realtors. Mold is becoming an issue in home buying
and selling. This organization has several pages on mold, including a
American Society of Home Inspectors. This organization of home
inspectors offers mold control tips at
its Web site.