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Mold is a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere. It produces tiny spores to reproduce, which waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from the environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, clean up the mold with water and detergent and get rid of excess water or moisture.
Water in your home can come from many sources, often entering your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. The colder the temperature, the less moisture the air can hold. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to excavation and waterproofing. Some guidelines to follow are:
Testing can be expensive. If you believe that you have a problem with mold, you can call your local Board of Health for names of industrial technicians that will test for mold in your area.
To detect mold growth, inspect your house for fungal growth, water damage, and earthy odors, sampling surfaces and the air. Test only for viable colonies in CFUs (colony forming units), and compare indoor and outdoor test results.
Test results need to be interpreted very carefully. Remember, testing can be biased toward fungi with larger spores, leaving room for error. Only certain molds in high quantities trigger concern, not all molds. For example, cladosporidium and alternaria are of little concern. However, mold growth with more than 500 CFU's can be dangerous. Stachybotrus chartarum, and pathogenic and toxigenic fungi such as cryptococcus, aspergillus and penicillium (certain species) are of concern.
Medical testing can be done by your practitioner, including:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”