Preventing Mold and Sick Building Syndrome

Preventing Mold and Sick Building Syndrome | Orange County Contractors

Many buildings in Orange County and other areas of Southern California experience what is known as sick building syndrome. This unhealthy indoor environmental condition is caused by molds which directly or indirectly affect the indoor air quality, leading to health problems for people and animals who use the building.

A new study done in France has found a further explanation for how these molds actually cause disease and spread. Researchers at the University of Toulouse discovered that toxins produced by molds commonly found in buildings could disperse from the spores into the air. This moves the mold from one place to another inside the building, helping it spread, and it causes allergic reactions and other health issues in residents along the way.

Mold Problems in Southern California Buildings

When moisture from flooding, leaking pipes and drains, ground water, or other sources come in contact with walls, floors, and ceilings in a building, it creates the perfect conditions for mold growth. As these molds grow they develop reproductive spoors containing a toxin called mycotoxin. Many people and animals develop allergies and chemical sensitivity when exposed to the invisible mycotoxin dust particles as they float around in the air.

The researchers in France studied three mold species commonly present in sick building syndrome, Aspergillus versicolor, Stachybotrys chartarum, and Penicillium brevicompactum, and discovered mycotoxins dispersing directly into the air from the mold spoors under conditions simulating real life inside a building. The molds were grown on the wallpaper to further reproduce actual conditions.

These aerosolized mycotoxins were then observed dispersing into the air and traveling around inside the building. From there, they can easily enter the respiratory tract of a person or animal, making them sick, even though they never directly contacted the mold itself.

Health experts estimate between twenty and forty percent of all buildings in the United States have visible mold growing somewhere in the building, creating conditions where sick building syndrome can develop. The best prevention for sick building syndrome is repairing water-damaged areas as soon as possible and hiring a contractor with the right experience, personnel, and equipment for remediating water and mold damage in a timely way.

If you have a water damage or mold remediation problem in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange Counties, contact Tri Span, Inc. We are Southern California’s leading building contractor for all types mold remediation work.

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