HI THERE IS A GREAT DEAL WRITTEN ABOUT 'MOLD' ALTHOUGH ONE SHOULD US THE TERM MILDEW
CDA...YA KNOW THE FOLKS THAT LEGESLATE LAW WITHOUT AUTHORITY
SO USING CDS ONLY :
MILDEW OR MOLD: see also environmental.
EPA 402-K-02-003 & CDC
Individuals with sensitivities or persistent symptoms should see their physician; remove the cause or themselves from it.
'Time is of the essence' & reporting this is an 'affirmative duty' for the tenants.
*At present of the 200-common mildew/molds, there is no test that proves an association between stachybotrys chartarum (stachybotrys atra) or other mildew/molds, and particular health symptoms.
The good news is that most mold does not pose a significant health risk, and even so-called "black mold" or "toxic mold" is unlikely to create a danger to occupants of a home.
Most mold appears to be dark or black in color, so the fact that mold looks black does not indicate that it is particularly dangerous or toxic.
From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Mildew & Mold and the spores have been on the Earth for millions of years. They are present both inside and outside.
Everyone breaths them every day.
Spores grow where there is air & moisture.
There is always some mildew or mold spores everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces, cloths, wood or about anyplace it can land or attach.
Mold is a fungus, neither plant nor animal, and related to mushrooms and of course cheese.
Moisture, two common sources.
Most commonly moisture inside is from interior condensation or humidity. this is typically the source.
Humidity is controlled by the tenants, and it is their responsibility to control and remove.
Failure at this can affect the interior paint and surfaces. damage that can be attributed to the tenants.
Of the thousands of types of mildew or mold on a very few are known to be detrimental, and not to everyone.
Interior: the space controlled by the tenant.
If or when leaks or spills occur act quickly. If wet or damp areas are dried 24-48 hours in most cases mildew or mold will not grow.
Keep indoor humidity low. Below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity.
Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) available at many hardware stores.
Mildew or Mold:
Blooming mildew or mold does not magically appear, when moist, the spores grow over time and for a reason.
Is testing or sampling if needed?
In most cases, sampling is unnecessary since, NO EPA or other Govt. or Federal standards have been set for mildew or mold exposure.
Nor are there any over the counter (OTC) or retail tests that are reliable to any degree more than 6%.
A certified lab may have a test for the type of mildew or mold.
Checking or sampling: EPA WEB SITE
Spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance NO EPA or other Federal limits have been set for mildew or mold.
Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results, not a company the remediates mildew and mold, as they have a 'vested interest' in finding them.
Rather an independent lab that is certified for such testing.
Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.
Forces Air duct work: epa.gov/mold/mold course/chapter 2. there are NO antimicrobial products approved for use on lined ductwork.
Contamination: Can mean, mold spores simply lying on a dry surface.
Spores are present or airborne everywhere, inside and outside.
HEPA-vacuuming and cleaning soft-surface or hard surface items like walls or counter tops, as part of mold remediation is a prudent practice.
Generally, both hard and soft-surface items that are contaminated in this way are easily cleaned.
If a soft-surface OR hard surface becomes wet, (humidity) then colonization can occur.
This may be defined as mold growth within materials such as fabric, cushions, cloths, beds, etc. Once colonization has occurred, it becomes difficult to clean the item to acceptable levels.
The cause of the moisture/wet or causes will need to be determined.
Epa website. Epa.gov /mold/moldresourses.html
Inside condensation (moisture on walls and windows, on or in furniture as an example) can be a sign of high humidity and is typically the cause of mildews/molds.
Reduce the source of moisture or increase ventilation.
On windows, walls or pipes or hard surfaces and soft surfaces, act quickly to dry .and reduce the moisture/water source.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
Vent appliances that produce moisture outside, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to (combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
Fan/s, open window, use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering and for a time afterward until the humidity is normal.
Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever, bathing/showering, cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation & reduce the humidity:
Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
AT BEST THESE TESTS IDENTIFY MOLD BY GENUS. YOU NEED TO GO DOWN TO THE SPECIES BECAUSE EACH GENUS HAS HUNDREDS OF SPECIES, MOST OF WHICH ARE NOT TOXIC. SOME FEW SPECIES OF PENNICILLIUM ARE DANGEROUS, BUT THAT OTHER SPECIES WERE USED TO MAKE THE VITAMIN C TABLET YOU TOOK.
WHERE IT COMES FROM:
YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TEST THE OTHER PLACES YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN FREQUENT---SCHOOL, CHURCH, DAY CARE, YOUR CAR, YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE, THEIR FRIENDS' HOMES. ALL THESE AND MORE ARE JUST AS LIKELY TO BE A PLACE ONE MAY BE EXPOSED, BESIDE THE HOME.
A QUALIFIED HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST, PHYSICIAN WOULD NEED TO TESTIFY, BUT TENANTS STILL NEED TO SHOW THE CAUSE/LOCATION COULD ONLY BE THE HOME, THEN, YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE THE TEST RESULTS FROM A CERTIFIED AND LICENSED LAB, TO SUPPORT A MEDICAL OPINION ON CAUSATION. THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT.
LIABILITY OF A LANDLORD?
YOU WILL NEED TO PROVE THAT THE LANDLORD AND HOME ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDITION, TO THE EXCLUSION OF ANY OTHER SOURCE OR REASON.
MILDEW OR MOLD REPORT: SHORT OF DISCOVERY IN LITIGATION, A LANDLORD SHOULD HAVE NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE A TENANT WITH ANY REPORT.
THERMAL TRACKING OR “SOOT TRACKING”:
OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR MILDEW OR MOLD, THIS OCCURS WHEN WARM MOISTURE-LADEN AIR TOUCHES THE COOLER SURFACE OF A WALL OR CEILING, GIVING UP SOME OF ITS MOISTURE TO THE SURFACE AS CONDENSATION.
AS AIR MOVES BY NATURAL CONVECTION THROUGH THE BUILDING, IT TYPICALLY FLOWS UP WALLS AND CEILINGS THUS DEPOSITING THE PARTICULATES ONTO THE COOLER SURFACE.
IT MAY BE FOUND WHEREVER MOISTURE CONDENSES ON COOL SURFACES.
GHOSTING IS THE TERM USED TO DESCRIBE THE DARK STREAKS THAT DEVELOP ON WALLS AND CEILINGS AS A RESULT OF THE THERMAL TELEGRAPHING WHICH IS THE EVIDENCE LEFT BEHIND WHEN PARTICULATES (DIRT, SOOT, SMOKE, ETC) IN THE AIR ARE DEPOSITED ON COOLER SURFACES OR THOSE WITH INADEQUATE VENTILATION OR AIR EXCHANGE.