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Mold Myths and Facts

November 16, 2015

 

Myth:  Bleach kills mold.


       Fact:  Bleach in and of itself is already toxic, and may help mold spores disperse more into the air, increasing your exposure.   When the mold colony thinks it is under attack, it can create Mycotoxins which are then released into the air for you to breathe as well.  Mold has two roots, or legs - one is shorter and one is longer.  When something like bleach, which is mostly water, is placed on a porous surface like drywall or wood, the short root may be killed by the bleach, but the water penetrates into the porous surface, feeding the longer root of the mold that is under the surface.  So eventually, the mold comes back.  There is nothing on the label of Clorox bleach that says it should be used for mold.  To remove mold from a hard, non-porous surface, simply use soap and water on a paper towel to wipe it up - it is that simple!  Porous materials such as drywall, insulation and non-structural studs must be removed to get rid of mold.

Myth:  Kilz Stain Blocker will get rid of mold.


       Fact:  Once mold gets on a porous surface such as drywall, the remediation protocol is to remove it - ie: the drywall must be removed and new installed.  This is the only way to permanently get rid of the mold.  On the label of Kilz it says, "...provides a mildew resistant coating..." and that Kilz "blocks most stains...such as ink", etc.  So the product is to be used BEFORE any mold or mildew is present on the drywall to help it be RESISTANT to potential future problems.  It is NOT meant to be painted on existing mold to cover it up.  As noted, any contaminated drywall must be removed and replaced to remediate (remedy) the issue.

Myth:  I can't see any mold, so there is no problem.


       Fact: Air borne mold spores are too tiny to be seen with the eye.  Breathing in spores is like breathing in plant or flower pollen - you can't see it, but it can still cause allergic reactions in people.  Mold colonies can also be trapped behind drywall and cause huge health issues from the mycotoxins (gases) it produces that leach out into the room and air you breathe.  

Myth:  New homes can't get moldy.


       Fact:  New, old, tight, leaky - ANY home can have a severe mold problem.  Poor construction techniques and improper construction materials can create huge mold issues in brand new homes - this has been seen over and over again.  There was even a law suit against a builder that went to the state supreme court in the case of my client who had a multi-million dollar custom home built.  The house was only 2 years old when the mold was discovered and the mold was so bad that it cost 6 figures to fix. 

Myth:  Mold can't grow on fiberglass insulation.


       Fact:  Wall cavities are full of construction dust and dirt from when they were built.  Fiberglass retains moisture in walls more readily than say, cotton or celluouse insulation which tends to dry out quicker.  Therefore, as moisture sits in the wall cavity with the construction dirt that is mixed with mold spores, the spores have a chance to become active colonies and start releasing gases called mycotoxins into the inside living space.

Myth:  I see 'black' mold, so it must be the toxic black mold I hear about.


       Fact:  There are hundreds of different types of molds, and many come in the color 'black'.  The reference to 'toxic black mold' refers specifically to a mold called Stachybotrys, and yes, it is very toxic, even to healthy individuals and should be handled by a professional mold remediator.

 

Want to learn more about mold?

According to the US EPA, “ The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation…” www.epa.gov/mold/i-e-r.html

 

The US EPA says, “When moisture problems occur and mold growth results, building occupants may begin to report odors and a variety of health problems, such as headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and aggravation of asthma symptoms; all of these symptoms could potentially be associated with mold exposure.”

 

“Many symptoms and human health effects attributed to inhalation of mycotoxins have been reported including: mucous membrane irritation, skin rash, nausea, immune system suppression, acute or chronic liver damage, acute or chronic central nervous system damage, endocrine effects, and cancer. More studies are needed to get a clear picture of the health effects related to most mycotoxins. However, it is clearly prudent to avoid exposure to molds and mycotoxins.” www.epa.gov/mold/append_b.html

 

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About Eco Shaylee LLC:

 

"Shaylee" Sharon Oleson, owner of Eco Shaylee LLC is pioneering healthy eco-living through the built environment.

  With a formal background from the International Bau-Biologie & Ecology Institute, Sustainable & Energy Efficient Buildings program, Radon Mitigation and as a MN GreenStar Professional and committee member, Shaylee is dedicated to helping people overcome health issues caused by poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues and elevated Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs).  She suffered with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) for many years and also had gluten and dairy intolerance.  Doctors she saw either didn't know what was wrong, or thought it was all in her head.  When she found out about 'Bau-Biologie & Ecologie' (Building Biology), she knew what her life's mission would be.  Her long term goal is to help the planet by preventing Rain Forest destruction and creating sustainable revenues from the forests, to help its inhabitants and the earth at large. 

         Shaylee has been published in the Mpls. Parade of Homes Magazine, written numerous online and newspaper articles (http://ecoshaylee.wordpress.com/published-articles/), been a guest speaker at the WI Midwest Renewable Energy Association (WI MREA), the Living Green Expo, Coldwell Banker, Century College, the MN State Fair and other venues.  This year she is honored to be speaking at the Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence KS, in October.  

         She also enjoys spending time with her two dogs Xena and Cooper.  She is an avid nature and animal lover and former professional photographer, who still loves to photograph nature and of course, lots of pictures of her two dogs!

 

 

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Disclaimer: The information presented on this website gives general advice on EMF/IAQ and RF symptoms and possible causes. Always consult your Naturopath or other doctor for your individual needs and concerns. This information is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illness without consulting your Naturopath or other family doctor.

 ECO SHAYLEE

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