Mold is literally everywhere! No matter how hard you try in eradicating mold, it is likely that there are still small traces of mold everywhere. While we cannot completely eradicate mold from our environment, we still should try our best to remove mold from our homes or work environment. It is important for employers to understand the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s stance on mold so that the necessary steps could be taken to limit the detrimental effects that mold can have on employees. Here are the key takeaways from the OSHA’s guide to mold in the workplace.
Mold plays an important role in nature in stimulating the decomposition of organic material. Despite the benefits that mold brings, mold can be detrimental to the health of people and should be removed for the sake of human health. They reproduce by producing spores, which can be carried along with wind or surrounding animals. They generally grow well in areas where there is high moisture, such as the toilet sinks, shower areas, water pipes, pantry areas, roofs and water containers.
While the majority of mold is harmless to humans, there are certain molds that can cause allergy reactions or cause detrimental effects with long-term exposure. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, stuffy nose and coughing. Those with weaker immune systems, allergies or asthma might experience a greater severity in their symptoms.
There are other hazardous molds that can lead to detrimental effects with prolonged exposure. Take for example, prolonged exposure to black mold can result in stomach pain, hair loss and muscle spasm. The spores from black mold are also neurotoxins and can result in certain effects on the nervous system, such as memory loss and extreme mood swings. With these health implications in mind, it is essential that workplaces take the essential steps to prevent the growth of mold.
Prevention and remediation
Controlling the moisture at key areas is vital in preventing the growth of mold. Employees should act promptly if there is a water leak or spill that occurs in the workplace. Implementing a system of cleaning, drying and/or removing water-damaged materials can go a long way in preventing future mold growth.
Businesses can employ professional mold remediation companies to ensure that the mold situation is kept under control. The remediation plan should include steps to permanently remove the source of the moisture, using personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the worker from mold spores and removing moldy building materials in a manner that would prevent future contamination. Caution should be taken to ensure that the mold spores are not dispersed into air, which might be inhaled by the surrounding occupants. Relocating employees to another area or conducting remediation work during off hours can help in avoiding any negative health impact on occupants.
Iris Environmental laboratories provide professional mold inspection services for businesses. Our trained and certified professional inspectors follow OSHA’s guidelines strictly to ensure that your workplace environment complies with their regulations. Call now at 1800-908-6679 to learn more about our mold inspection services or fill up our online form to be contacted by our consultants.