ICS Magazine

AIHA: Mold Problems Can Be Prevented

July 12, 2002
SAN DIEGO -- /PRNewswire/ -- The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) hosted a panel of top mold experts from the US and Canada at the American Industrial Hygiene conference and exposition June 4. Panelists offered practical tips on preventing mold problems for home owners and businesses. Don M. Weekes, CIH, CSP, President, Abacus Environmental in Ellington, CT, noted that many mold problems occur when homeowners are away and leaks occur. "Wet materials must be dried out or they will mold quickly Water damage should be handled within hours not days," Weekes said.

If a mold problem develops, it is important to get advice from a qualified third party. "Some people who call themselves mold specialists have a monetary interest in mold remediation or cleanup," cautioned Jack Springston, CIH, CSP, Director of Field Operations, Ambient Group, Inc., New York, NY. A Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) can assess the situation and make recommendations. Edward N. Light, CIH, of Building Dynamics in Ashton, MD, noted that mold problems are always associated with water problems. "Mold can not grow without water," Light said.

"Housecleaning helps keep mold under control," added J. David Miller, PhD, Carleton University, Department of Chemistry, Ottawa, ON, Canada. "Mold grows on window frames, in refrigerator drip pans, and other areas that gather moisture. Cleaning these areas regularly can prevent a problem," Miller explained.

Chin S. Yang, PhD, P&K Microbiology Services, Cherry Hill, NJ, also stressed the importance of protecting your home from excess moisture, "You have to keep your home as dry as possible." Kenneth Dillon, PhD, CIH, University of Alabama, School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL agreed, "When it comes to mold an ounce of prevention is the key. Mold problems can be prevented."

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), founded in 1939, is the world's largest association of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals and its members play an important role on the front line of worker health and safety.