How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful?

Mold exists virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and has a large variety of species. While mold has many beneficial functions, such as breaking down waste products and organic matter that includes garbage, dead trees, and leaves, exposure to mold also has a big downside in residences and buildings that have moisture. This can create a perfect breeding ground for mold in unwanted environments. 

Exposure to mold can be problematic for people, although it affects everyone differently. While many people may not even be aware that mold is around them, others can easily get sick by breathing it in. Understanding the dangers, identifying who is the most vulnerable, and offering solutions can help keep you protected from mold exposure. 

Exposure to Mold

Mold needs both a food and moisture source to start growing. Under the proper conditions, mold can grow rapidly, releasing spores along with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may cause some people to feel ill. While mold spores are mostly inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin or consumed if present on food. 

  • Outdoors: Mold is virtually everywhere outdoors however, concentrations of mold are quite limited. The mold growing outdoors does not produce enough sports to be extremely dangerous for those who are vulnerable.
  • Indoors: Mold growing indoors is far more problematic due to a lack of airflow within the confined space. There are also more opportunities for it to locate moist areas within food sources, leading to them multiplying. This is especially true after a flooding event. 

There are different varieties of mold, including black mold which may or may not cause serious health issues. Regardless, exposure to mold of any type can be problematic, especially for those who have underlying health issues and are more susceptible to illness.

Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure

For those with a mold allergy, this can represent a significant respiratory issue. Those with underlying health issues such as respiratory illness, asthma, lung disease, COPD, and immune suppression are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure. 

Exposure to mold may cause a variety of conditions ranging from coughing and sneezing to itchy skin, headaches, and even dizziness. While such symptoms may be the sign of other illnesses or types of infection, those who experience such symptoms should inform their doctor and request getting checked for mold infection. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned that mold may be present in your home or workplace, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental for assistance today. The trained technicians at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the mold from your property. 

For more information on mold exposure, click here to visit the CDC website.

Lead Hazard

If you live in a home that was originally painted with lead paint, some of the lead may still be around underneath layers of new paint. When exposed, it may cause lead-poisoning issues that mostly affect children but can affect adults as well. 

Where to Look for Lead

Most lead paint was used in the following areas. 

  • Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Floors
  • Baseboards, Stairs, and Windows
  • Porches, Exteriors, Woodwork and Trim 

Such areas are often painted over numerous times over the years, so the paint may still be trapped under the surface. However, if the area is subject to impacts, friction, or deterioration, then the underlying paint may be exposed. 

How to Maintain the Condition of Your Paint

If you suspect that lead paint is present in your home, then you can create a strong barrier to help ensure that it never gets exposed to the surface. A good place to start is by keeping the layers of protection over old paint by touching up from time to time areas that may be deteriorating. 

Baseboards: You can fully remove the baseboards and replace with new ones. Also, you can cover the baseboards with contact paper, duct tape, or paint over them again. 

Doors: Use felt bumpers on the edges of the doors. Or, you can use duct tape to cover the edges which are at most risk of exposure. If you suspect that lead paint may be underneath, consider removing the door entirely and replacing with a new one. 

Floors & Stairs: Rugs and carpet can reduce, if not eliminate the friction caused by foot traffic. Adding a runner to the stairs can also reduce the possibility of creating lead dust. 

Windows: Use contact paper to cover window trims and surfaces that may have contaminated paint. You can also use duct tape as well. Try to minimize the opening and closing of windows as much as possible to reduce impact. 

This means identifying areas subject to moisture which may cause the paint to fall apart. And, do not remove any paint which might create dust which contains lead. 

You will need a professional removal service to eliminate the product from your home. That is where Brickley Environmental can be of service. 

Let Brickley Environmental Help

You can get peace of mind when calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental. If you believe that lead may be present on your property or if it is coming in from another area, Brickley Environmental can find out thanks to their expert services. 

For more information on lead poisoning, visit the CDC’s website here.

Another article about the dangers of lead from BrickleyEnv can be found here.

COVID-19 Induced Waste Scenario

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic will go down as one of the most disruptive events in modern history. Of all the conditions that have affected the world due to the pandemic, one thing that is causing a growing concern is the increase in waste volume. The increase in the volume of waste products has caused considerable concern that the virus may spread faster than ever before. 

Increase in COVID-19 Waste Product

Waste processing systems around the world are predicated on the movement and location of people. Before the days of extended lockdowns, many people during the day are at work, school, or outside the home. This means that the waste product they generate is handled by different systems. 

But more importantly, the amount of waste from residential locations has placed a large burden on waste collection and processing facilities. This is not only about human waste, but the one-time use products used to help keep the spread of the virus in check. 

Such products are now filling up landfills and overwhelming processing centers which puts the surrounding environment in danger of leakage. This means that even if the virus is not spread due to the increase is waste products, the environment may be in danger because facilities have become overwhelmed. 

Environmental Impact

In most developed countries, the increase in waste product does not strain the system. This issue is mostly for less developed countries that do not have an adequate waste collection and processing system. 

However, there are local areas even in developed countries such as the US that may be impacted if a combination of events occurs at the same time. For example, a hurricane or major storm combined with power outages and temporary reduction of services may create an overload to the system. 

While such situations may seem rare, they can happen in areas which may already be close to capacity. States with large homes populations for example are more vulnerable to the environmental impact of reduced waste management processes. 

For business owners who may have issues with their own waste collection and processing systems, there is a company that can help. 

Call Brickley Environmental

If you have concerns about the increase in potentially hazardous waste material due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to identify any increase in waste product due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For companies or areas that are seeing an increase in waste production or have concerns about the spreading of COVID-19, then Brickley Environmental may have the answer. Call today and find out more about how such waste material may be identified and checked for the presence of the virus. 

Mold vs. Mildew – The Similarities and Differences

Mold vs. Mildew – The Similarities and Differences

Although mildew and mold are funguses, there are some important differences that you need to know. This is because the differences are such that they will shape how you clean away the organisms from your home, office, or facility.

Similarities – Mold & Mildew

Both mold and mildew are organisms that grow on organic materials. Both are essentially harmless until they reach a warm, moist atmosphere. The moisture will spark both organisms to grow rapidly and consume whatever organic materials are nearby. Mold and mildew will grow on food, shower basins, and especially wood products that include paper.

It is the growth of mold and mildew that must be checked if you want to preserve the structural support of your residence or business assuming it is made from wood. However, there are some important differences that you need to know as well.

Differences – Mold & Mildew

The most important difference is that mildew is a surface organism that does not penetrate materials nearly to the same extent as mold. This means that if you see the familiar page of white or gray patches, then all you really need is a cleaner and scrubbing brush. Because mildew sticks to the surface, it can be removed rather easily. However, mold is far more insidious as it penetrates surfaces to consumer-organic materials. It’s green or black coloring is easy to identify just like mildew. However, the damage it creates is far more extensive.

If not caught in time, the materials themselves may have to be repaired or replaced. Under dry conditions, mold is generally harmless. The spores may cause a mild allergic reaction to those who are sensitive, but that is the extent of the trouble it causes.

Humid or moist conditions, such as those found in the interior of buildings next to water sources cause both funguses to grow. However, with mold, the growth is far more extensive and damaging. In addition to destroying organic materials, there are certain types of mold that are toxic in nature. However, toxic mold is rare.

Symptoms of inhaling the spores from toxic mold include allergic reactions, headaches, and it can be harmful to those with respiratory issues.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect the presence of these issues, call the experts at Brickley Environmental. We have the expertise to identify and remove funguses from homes and buildings using proven techniques.

For more information on mold & mildew, visit another BrickleyEnv article HERE.

To see more information on the dangers of mold & mildew, visit the CDC.

Home Chemical Safety Tips

You may be surprised to learn just how many hazardous chemicals are in your home. This is because many chemicals are used for cleaning, providing anti-freeze or brake fluid for your vehicles, and even nail polish remover or contact cement. There are four basic types of substances that are harmful to you, your family, and pets that may be in your home.

  • Acidic: They destroy materials on contact
  • Explosive: Under the right conditions, they can explode
  • Flammable: Easy to set aflame
  • Poisons: These are toxic if consumed

For the most part, harmful chemicals are marked as such for easy identification. You will need to treat such chemicals differently in terms of use and storage compared to harmless materials.

Storage

Proper storage of harmful chemicals will go a long way to prevent accidents from occurring. What follows are a few tips if you have such chemicals in the home.

Follow Instructions: Proper use of harmful chemicals will minimize exposure to you and everyone else in the household. With insecticides, be sure to clear the area and let the product fully dry before letting children and pets back in.

Keep All Harmful Chemicals Out of Reach of Children and Pets: In other words, store such chemicals high on a shelf and not in a cabinet. Remember that locked cabinets are still not 100% and you may forget to shut the door. But keeping them out of reach will prevent almost all accidents from occurring.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keeping them stored at room temperature and normal humidity conditions will not keep potentially explosive chemicals from becoming unstable. It will also preserve their effectiveness for longer periods.

Toss Out Old, Unused Chemicals: Every so often, you will want to remove old chemicals that are no longer used. While some may not have an expiration date, in many cases they will break down over time.

What to Do in an Emergency

Even the best plans may not prevent the accidental consumption of a toxic chemical or medication. You should have the emergency number handy and a bottle of ipecac. Ipecac is a chemical which causes a person to throw up the contents of their stomach. However, you should only use ipecac when instructed by a poison control center.

If you believe that your home may have harmful chemicals that you want safely disposed, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental can help.

Call Brickley Environmental Today

The knowledgeable, experienced professionals at Brickley Environmental can provide you with proper guidance when it comes to chemical exposure in the home. Our trained staff will listen to you, ask questions to fully understand the situation, and set an appointment to inspect the issue in your home. We also offer sound advice on how to properly store and dispose of household chemicals to minimize your concerns. Call today and let our professionals provide the guidance you need to identify and remove unwanted chemicals from your residence.