industrial  hygienist 

(646) 613-7032             (631) 481-1442                 (516) 508-9198

industrial hygienist

Industrial hygienists are scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community. When dealing with Mold  there are two common classes: (a) moisture induced growth of mold colonies and (b) natural substances released into the air such as animal dander and plant pollen. Moisture buildup inside buildings may arise from water penetrating compromised areas of the building envelope or skin, from plumbing leaks, from condensation due to improper ventilation, or from ground moisture penetrating a building part. In areas where cellulosic materials (paper and wood, including drywall) become moist and fail to dry within 48 hours, mold can grow and release allergenic spores into the air.

In many cases, if materials have failed to dry out several days after the suspected water event, mold growth is suspected within wall cavities even if it is not immediately visible. Through a mold investigation, which may include destructive inspection, one should be able to determine the presence or absence of mold. In a situation where there is visible mold and the indoor air quality may have been compromised, mold remediation may be needed. Mold testing and inspections should be done by an independent investigator to avoid any conflict of interest and to insure accurate results; free mold testing offered by remediation companies is not recommended.


There are some varieties of mold that contain toxic compounds (mycotoxins). However, exposure to hazardous levels of mycotoxin via inhalation is not possible in most cases, as toxins are produced by the fungal body and are not at significant levels in the released spores. The primary hazard of mold growth, as it relates to indoor air quality, comes from the allergenic properties of the spore cell wall. More serious than most allergenic properties is the ability of mold to trigger episodes in persons that already have asthma, a serious respiratory disease.

Mold is always associated with moisture, and its growth can be inhibited by keeping humidity levels below 50%. Moisture problems causing mold growth can be attributed to water leaks or condensation due to humidity levels.

When sampling is necessary it should be performed by a trained professional who has specific experience in designing mold-sampling protocols, sampling methods, and the interpretation of findings. Sampling should  be conducted to answer a pertinent question: examples "what is the spore concentration in the air", or "is a particular species of fungi present in the building." The additional question should be asked before sampling "what action can or should a person take upon obtaining data."

The sampling and analysis should follow the recommendations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Most importantly, when a sample is taken the proper chain of custody should be adhered to. The AIHA offers lists of accredited laboratories that submit to required quarterly proficiency testing.

Three types of air sampling include but are not limited to:

Air samples: the most common form of sampling to assess the level of mold. Sampling of the inside and outdoor air is conducted and the results to the level of mold spores inside the premises and outside are compared. Often, air sampling will provide positive identification of the existence of non-visible mold.
Surface samples: sampling the amount of mold spores deposited on indoor surfaces (swab, tape, and dust samples)
Bulk samples: the removal of materials from the contaminated area to identify and determine the concentration of mold in the sample.
When sampling is conducted, all three types are recommended by the AIHA, as each sample method alone has specific limitations. For example, air samples will not provide proof of a hidden source of mold just as a swab sample wouldn't provide the level of contamination in the air.

CALL IMMEDIATELY FOR Mold TESTING  TO PREVENT FURTHER MOLD DAMAGE TO YOUR COMMERCIAL OR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

 

 

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