CITY OF LOS ANGELES
GUIDELINES FOR ASSESSMENT
AND REMEDIATION OF MOLD


The information contained within this manual has been compiled from
the following reference sources: The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The California
Department of Health Services (CA DHS), The New
York Department of Health Services (NYDHS), American Conference
of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH) Guidelines for the
Assessment of Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment and the
California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (CA
DOSH). Please note that this document presents recommendations
on mold assessment and remediation. Currently there are no United
States Federal, California State or Los
Angeles City regulations for evaluating potential health effects of
fungal contamination and remediation. These guidelines are subject
to change as more information regarding
fungal contaminants becomes available. April 2005.

PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
DIVISION



Introduction

Molds are a group of organisms that belong to the kingdom Fungi.
Fungi are neither animals nor plants and are classified in a kingdom
of their own. Fungi include molds,yeasts, mushrooms and puffballs.

Molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter.
Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected,
indoors and outdoors, year round. You
are exposed to them daily in the air you breathe. Molds lack
chlorophyll and must survive by digesting plant and other organic
materials for food. Without molds, our environment would be
overwhelmed with large amounts of dead plant matter.

Molds make tiny spores to reproduce, just as some plants produce
seeds. These mold
spores can be found in both indoor and outdoor air, and settled on
indoor and outdoor
surfaces. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may begin
growing and digesting
whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Since molds
gradually destroy the
things they grow on, you can prevent damage to building materials
and furnishings and
save money by eliminating mold growth.

Moisture control is the key to mold control. Molds need both food and
water to survive: since molds can digest most things, water is the
factor that limits mold growth. Molds
will often grow in damp or wet areas indoors. Common sites for indoor
mold growth include bathroom tile, basement walls, areas around
windows where moisture condenses,and near leaky water fountains or
sinks. Common sources or causes of water or moisture
problems include roof leaks, deferred maintenance, condensation
associated with high humidity or cold spots in the building, localized
plumbing failures or heavy rains, slow
leaks in plumbing fixtures, and malfunction or poor design of
humidification systems.

Health Effects

Molds can cause a variety of health problems such as allergic
reactions, fungal infections, skin irritation, and aggravation of asthma
symptoms. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on
the types of mold present, the extent of an individual’s
exposure, the ages of the individuals, and their existing sensitivities or
allergies. Most workers will not be affected by molds. In almost all
cases of allergic or other illnesses,
the symptoms are temporary. A small percentage of people may
experience longer recovery times. It must be pointed out that the
symptoms described for exposure to mold
can also be due to other causes such as bacterial or viral infections,
or other allergies.Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor if you
are concerned about your health.

Prevention

The key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems
before they become mold problems! With this concept in mind, the
Occupational Health and Safety Division assigns responsibility to the
Department that oversees the affect facilities. The following mold
prevention tips should be practiced:

1. Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as
possible
2. Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture
problem(s) as
soon as possible.
3. Maintain indoor humidity below 60% relative humidity (RH). *
(ASHRAE
standard recommends indoor RH be maintained between 30%-60%)
4. Keep HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
5. Perform regularly scheduled building/HVAC inspections and
maintenance.
6 .Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
7.Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Don’t let foundations stay wet. In cases of emergency water intrusion
(i.e. flooding) it is imperative that the designated maintenance
department responds to such damage using the strategies presented
in Table 1 (Taken from the EPA Guidelines to Mold Remediation in
Schools and Commercial Buildings) within 24-48 hours. These
guidelines are designed to help avoid the need for
mold remediation by taking quick action before growth starts.
Depending on the size of the area involved and resources available
the responsible maintenance department may
need to seek the professional assistance to dry the area as quickly as
possible.

Table 1: Water Damage - Cleanup and Mold Prevention
Guidelines for Response to Clean Water Damage within 24-48 Hours
to Prevent Mold Growth*
Water-Damaged Material† Actions
Books and papers -For non-valuable items, discard books and papers.
-Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals.
-Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry.
Carpet and backing - dry
Within 24-48 hours§
-Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
-Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier.
-Accelerate drying process with fans.
Ceiling tiles -Discard and replace.
Cellulose insulation -Discard and replace.
Concrete or cinder block
Surfaces
-Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
-Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
heaters.
Fiberglass insulation -Discard and replace.
Hard surface, porous flooring§ (Linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)
-Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow
to dry; scrub if necessary. -Check to make sure under flooring is dry;
dry under flooring if necessary.
Non-porous, hard surfaces (Plastics, metals)
-Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow
to dry; scrub if necessary.
Upholstered furniture -Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
-Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.


-May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is
valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage
professional who specializes in furniture.
Wallboard (Drywall and gypsum
board)
-May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the
seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace.
-Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible.
Window drapes -Follow laundering or cleaning instructions
recommended by the manufacture.
Wood surfaces -Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers,
gentle heat, and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to
hardwood floors.)
-Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild
detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
-Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying.
* If mold growth has occurred or materials have been wet for more
than 48 hours, consult Table 2 guidelines. Even if materials are dried
within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred. Items may
be tested by professionals if there is doubt. Note that mold growth will
not always occur after 48 hours; this is only a guideline.
These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know
or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or
chemical or biological pollutants, then Personal Protective
Equipment and containment are required by OSHA. An experienced
professional should be consulted if you and/or your remediators do
not have expertise remediating in contaminated water situations. Do
not use fans before determining that the water is clean or sanitary.
† If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you
may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist.
§ The sub floor under the carpet or other flooring material must also
be cleaned and dried. See the appropriate section of this table for
recommended actions depending on the composition of the
sub floor.

Table 2: Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Mold
Growth Caused by Clean Water*
Material or Furnishing
Affected Cleanup Methods†
Personal Protective
Equipment Containment
SMALL - Total Surface Area Affected Less Than 10 square feet (ft2)
Books and papers 3 Minimum N-95 respirator, gloves, and goggles
None required
Carpet and backing 1, 3
Concrete or cinder block 1, 3
Hard surface, porous
flooring (linoleum, ceramic
tile, vinyl)
1, 2, 3
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(plastics, metals) 1, 2, 3


Upholstered furniture &
drapes 1, 3
Wallboard (drywall and
gypsum board) 3
Wood surfaces 1, 2, 3
MEDIUM - Total Surface Area Affected Between 10 and 100 (ft2)
Books and papers 3
Limited or Full
Use professional judgment, consider potential for remediator
exposure and size of contaminated area Limited Use professional
judgment, consider potential for remediator/occupant exposure and
size of contaminated area
Carpet and backing 1,3,4
Concrete or cinder block 1,3
Hard surface, porous
flooring (linoleum, ceramic
tile, vinyl) 1,2,3
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(plastics, metals) 1,2,3
Upholstered furniture &
drapes 1,3,4
Wallboard (drywall and
gypsum board) 3,4
Wood surfaces 1,2,3
LARGE - Total Surface Area Affected Greater Than 100 (ft2) or
Potential for
Increased Occupant or Remediator Exposure During Remediation
Estimated to be Significant Books and papers 3 Full
Use professional judgment, consider potential for
remediator/occupant exposure and size of contaminated area
Full
Use professional judgment, consider potential for remediator
exposure and size of contaminated area
Carpet and backing 1,3,4
Concrete or cinder block 1,3
Hard surface, porous
flooring (linoleum, ceramic
tile, vinyl) 1,2,3,4
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(plastics, metals) 1,2,3
Upholstered furniture &
drapes 1,2,4
Wallboard (drywall and
gypsum board) 3,4
Wood surfaces 1,2,3,4
Table 2 continued


*Use professional judgment to determine prudent levels of Personal
Protective Equipment and containment for each situation, particularly
as the remediation site size increases and the potential for exposure
and health effects rises. Assess the need for increased Personal
Protective Equipment, if, during the remediation, more
extensive contamination is encountered than was expected. Consult
Table 1 if materials have been wet for less than 48 hours, and mold
growth is not apparent. These guidelines are for damage caused by
clean water.
If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with
sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants,
then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
requires PPE and containment. An experienced professional should
be consulted if you and/or your remediators do not have expertise in
remediating contaminated water situations.

†Select method most appropriate to situation. Since molds gradually
destroy the things they grow on, if mold growth is not addressed
promptly, some items may be damaged such that cleaning will not
restore their original appearance. If mold growth is heavy and items
are valuable or important, you may wish to consult a
restoration/water damage/remediation expert. Please note that these
are guidelines; other cleaning methods may be preferred by some
professionals. Cleanup Methods

Method 1: Wet vacuum (in the case of porous materials, some mold
spores/fragments will remain in the material but will not grow if the
material is completely dried). Steam cleaning may be an alternative
for carpets and some upholstered furniture.

Method 2: Damp-wipe surfaces with plain water or with water and
detergent solution (except wood - use wood floor cleaner); scrub as
needed.

Method 3: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum after the
material has been thoroughly dried. Dispose of the contents of the
HEPA vacuum in well-sealed plastic bags.

Method 4: Discard _ remove water-damaged materials and seal in
plastic bags while inside of containment, if present. Dispose of as
normal waste. HEPA vacuum area after it is dried.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Minimum: Gloves, N-95 respirator, goggles/eye protection

Limited: Gloves, N-95 respirator or half-face respirator with HEPA
filter, disposable overalls, goggles/eye protection

Full: Gloves, disposable full body clothing, head gear, foot coverings,
full-face respirator with HEPA filter

Containment

Limited: Use polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around affected
area with a slit entry and covering flap;
maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit.
Block supply and return air vents within containment area.

Full: Use two layers of fire-retardant polyethylene sheeting with one
airlock chamber. Maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA
filtered fan exhausted outside of building. Block supply and return air
vents within containment area.

Table developed from literature and remediation documents including
Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control (American Conference of
Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1999) and IICRC S500, Standard
and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration,
(Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration, 1999); see
Resources List for more information


If the water intrusion source/cause is not identified and
repaired/eliminated then mold growth can occur. Control the water
and you control the mold.

Inspection, Assessment and Sampling

The presence of mold, water damage, or musty odors should be
addressed immediately. A visual inspection is the most important
initial step in identifying a possible
contamination problem. The extent of any water damage and mold
growth should be visually assessed. This assessment is important in
determining remedial strategies. Ventilation systems should also be
visually checked when appropriate, particularly for damp filters but
also for damp conditions elsewhere in the system and overall
cleanliness. Ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard (sheetrock), cardboard,
paper, and other cellulosic surfaces should be given careful attention
during the visual inspection. The use of equipment such as a
boroscope, to view spaces in ductwork or behind walls, a moisture
meter, to detect moisture in building materials, or a digital camera
may be helpful in identifying and recording sources of fungal growth
and the extent of water damage.

Bulk or surface sampling is not required to undertake a remediation.
Remediation (as described in the Remediation section) of visually
identified fungal contamination should proceed without further
evaluation. Air sampling for molds should not be a part of a
routine assessment as well. This is because decisions about
appropriate remediation strategies can usually be made on the basis
of a visual inspection. Regardless what type of mold is present you
should arrange for its removal. Regulations for determining what
a permissible limit of mold in the air is have not been established. Air
sampling methods for some fungi are prone to false negative results
and therefore cannot be used to definitively rule out contamination.
Under certain circumstances sampling may need to
be collected. The City Of Los Angeles Personnel Departments
Occupational Health and Safety Division may take samples for the
following reasons:

• If an individual(s) has been diagnosed with a disease that is or may
be associated with a fungal exposure (e.g. pulmonary
hemmorrhage/hemosiderosis, and aspergillosis).
• Air sampling may be necessary if there is evidence from a visual
inspection or bulk sampling that ventilation systems may be
contaminated. The purpose of such sampling is to assess the extent
of contamination throughout a building.
• Air monitoring may be necessary if the presence of mold is
suspected (e.g. musty odors) but cannot be identified by a visual
inspection or bulk sampling
(e.g. mold growth behind walls). The purpose of such air monitoring is
to determine the location and/or extent of contamination.
• To identify the presence or absence of mold by surface sampling if a
visual inspection is equivocal (e.g., discoloration, and staining).
• As determined by the Industrial Hygienist for the City Of Los
Angeles. It will be the responsibility of the City Industrial Hygienist,
City Safety Engineer or the designated Safety Representative for the
affected Department to conduct the inspection,assessment, and
sampling and make the recommendations for remediation to the
designated maintenance department or their abatement contractor
when necessary.

Remediation

In all situations, the underlying cause of water accumulation must be
rectified or fungal growth will occur. Any initial water infiltration should
be stopped and cleaned immediately. An immediate response (within
48 hours) and thorough clean up, drying,and/or removal of water
damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth. If the
source of water is elevated humidity, relative humidity should be
maintained at levels below 60% to inhibit mold growth. Emphasis
should be on ensuring proper repairs of the building infrastructure, so
that water damage and moisture buildup does not recur.
Three levels of abatement are described below. The size of the area
impacted by fungal growth primarily determines the type of
remediation. The sizing levels listed are based on professional
judgment and practicality; currently there is not adequate data to
relate the extent of contamination to frequency or severity of health
effects. The goal of remediation is to remove or clean contaminated
materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust
contaminated with fungi from leaving a work area and entering an
occupied or non-abatement area, while protecting the health of
workers performing the abatement. The listed remediation methods
were designed to achieve this goal, however, due to the general
nature of these methods it is the responsibility of the people
conducting remediation to ensure the methods enacted are adequate.
The listed remediation methods are not meant to exclude other
similarly effective methods. Any changes to the remediation methods
listed in these guidelines, however, should be carefully considered
prior to implementation.

Non-porous (e.g., metals, glass, and hard plastics) and semi-porous
(e.g., wood, and concrete) materials that are structurally sound and
are visibly moldy can be cleaned and
reused. Cleaning should be done using a detergent solution. Porous
materials such as ceiling tiles and insulation, and wallboards with
mare than a small area of contamination should be removed and
discarded. Porous materials (e.g., wallboard, and fabrics) that can
be cleaned, can be reused, but should be discarded if possible. All
materials to be reused should be dry and visibly free from mold.
Routine inspections should be conducted toconfirm the effectiveness
of remediation work.

The use of gaseous, vapor-phase, or aerosolized biocides for remedial
purposes is not
recommended. The use of biocides in this manner can pose health
concerns for people performing the remediation as well as for people
returning to the treated space if used improperly. Furthermore, the
effectiveness of these treatments is unproven and does not
address the possible health concerns from the presence of the
remaining non-viable mold. The purpose of mold remediation is to
remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building
materials and furnishings. It is necessary to remove the mold
contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic,
and some dead molds are potentially toxic. In most cases, it is not
possible or desirable to sterilize an

area; a background level of mold spores will remain in the air. These
spores will not grow if the moisture problem in the building has been
resolved.

Remediation efforts should be conducted during non-business hours
whenever feasible.

Level I: Small Isolated Areas (10 contiguous sq. ft. or less)


Regular building maintenance staff can conduct remediation. Such
persons should receive training on proper clean up methods, personal
protection, and potential health hazards. This training can be
performed by a Health and Safety Professional or a person trained in
microbial remediation as part of a program to comply with the
requirements of the Cal-OSHA Hazard Communication
Standard.
• Respiratory protection (e.g., N95 disposable respirator), in
accordance with the
Cal-OSHA respiratory protection standard, is recommended. Gloves
and eye protection should be worn. Disposable coveralls are optional.
• The immediate work area should be unoccupied. Vacating people
from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary but is
recommended in the presence of
infants, persons recovering from recent surgery, immune suppressed
people, or
• people with chronic inflammatory lung diseases (e.g., asthma,
hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and severe allergies).
• Containment of the work area is not necessary. Dust suppression
methods, such as misting (not soaking) surfaces prior to remediation
or sealing contaminated surfaces prior to removal, are recommended.
• Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed
from the building in a sealed plastic bag. There are no special
requirements for the disposal of moldy materials.
• The work area and area used by remedial workers for egress should
be cleaned
with a damp cloth and or mop and a detergent solution.
• All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and
debris.
Level II: Mid-Sized Isolated Areas (10 – 100 contiguous sq. ft.)

• Regular building maintenance staff can conduct remediation. Such
persons should receive training on proper clean up methods, personal
protection, and potential health hazards. This training can be
performed by a Health and Safety professional or a person trained in
microbial remediation as part of a program to comply with the
requirements of the Cal-OSHA Hazard Communication
Standard.
• Respiratory protection (e.g., half face negative pressure air purifying
respirator with P-100 HEPA filters), in accordance with the Cal-OSHA
respiratory protection standard, is recommended. Glove, eye
protection and disposable protective coveralls should be worn.

• The immediate work area should be unoccupied. Vacating people
from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary but is
recommended in the presence of
infants, persons recovering from recent surgery, immune suppressed
people, or people with chronic inflammatory lung diseases (e.g.,
asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and severe allergies).
• Cover using polyethylene sheeting from ceiling to floor affected area
with a slit entry and covering flap; maintain area under negative
pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit exhausted to the outside. Block
supply and return vents within containment area.
• Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soaking) surfaces
prior to remediation or sealing contaminated surfaces prior to removal,
are recommended.
• Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed
from the building in a sealed plastic bag. There are no special
requirements for the disposal of moldy materials.
• The work area and areas used by remedial workers for egress
should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth and or
mop and a detergent solution.
• All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and
debris.

Level III: Extensive Contamination (greater than 100 contiguous sq. ft.)

A health and safety professional with experience performing microbial
investigations should be consulted prior to remediation activities to
provide oversight for the project. The following procedures at a
minimum are recommended:

• Personnel trained in the handling of hazardous materials equipped
with full-face respirators with HEPA cartridges (in accordance with Cal-
OSHA respiratory protection standard) and disposable protective
clothing covering both head and shoes should perform the work.
• Containment of the affected area: should include complete isolation
of work area from occupied spaces using plastic sheeting sealed with
duct tape (including ventilation ducts/grills, fixtures, and any other
openings). The use of an exhaust
fan with a HEPA filter to generate negative pressurization and airlocks
and decontamination room should be used during the remediation.
• Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed
from the building in a sealed plastic bag. There are no special
requirements for the disposal of moldy materials.
• The immediate work area should be unoccupied. Vacating people
from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary but is
recommended in the presence of infants, persons recovering from
recent surgery, immune suppressed people, or
people with chronic inflammatory lung diseases (e.g., asthma,
hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and severe allergies).
• The outside of the bags should be cleaned with a damp cloth and a
detergent solution or HEPA vacuumed in the decontamination
chamber prior to their transport to uncontaminated areas of the
building. The contained area and
decontamination room should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a
damp cloth and/or mop with a detergent solution and be visibly clean
prior to the removal of isolation barriers.

• Air monitoring in accordance with NIOSH protocols for bio-aerosols
should be conducted prior to occupancy to determine if the area is fit
to reoccupy.
*Note: Although the level of personal protection, engineering controls
and work practices suggested in these guidelines is based on the
total surface area contaminated and the potential for remediator
and/or occupant exposure, professional judgment should
always play a part in the remediation decisions. These remediation
guidelines are based on the size of the affected area to make it easier
for remediators to select appropriate techniques, not on the basis of
health effects or research showing there is a specific method
appropriate at a certain number of square feet. The guidelines have
been designed to help construct a remediation plan. The remediation
manager will then use professional judgment and experience to adapt
the guidelines to particular situations.

How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup?

There is no easy answer. Ultimately this is a judgment call. The
following conditions must first be met prior to clearing an area for re-
occupancy:

1. You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem.
2. Water damaged materials should be dried or removed as verified by
moisture readings.
3. You should complete mold removal. Visible mold, mold damaged
materials, and moldy odors should not be present.
4. Final air sampling is required on remediation projects over 100
square feet.
5. If you have sampled, the kinds and concentrations of mold and
mold spores in the building should be similar to those found outside,
once cleanup activities have been completed. (Note: See appendix A
for air sampling guidelines on remediation projects greater than 100
square feet).
6.
You should revisit the site shortly after remediation, and it should
show no signs of water damage or mold growth.
Hazard Communication and Notification:

Communication with building occupants is essential for successful
mold remediation. Some occupants will naturally be concerned about
mold growth in their building and the potential health impacts.
Occupant’s perceptions of the health risk may rise if they perceive that
information is being withheld from them. The status of the building
investigation and remediation should be openly communicated
including information on any known or suspected health risks.


Small remediation efforts will usually not require a formal
communication process, but do be sure to take individual concerns
seriously and use common sense when deciding
whether formal communications are required. When fungal growth
requiring large-scale remediation is found, the remediation manager
should notify occupants on the affected area(s) of its presence.
Notification should include a description of the remedial
measures to be taken and a timetable for completion. Group meetings
held before and
after remediation with full disclosure of plans and results can be an
effective communication mechanism. Try and resolve issues and
occupant concerns as they arise.

The four steps listed below should be followed while communicating
during remediation:

• Establish that the health and safety of building occupants are top
priorities.
• Demonstrate that the occupants’ concerns are understood and taken
seriously.
• Present clearly the current status of the investigation or remediation
efforts.
• Identify a person whom building occupants can contact directly to
discuss questions and comments about the remediation activities.
When building-wide communications are frequent and open, those
managing the remediation can direct more time toward resolving the
problem and less time to responding to occupant concerns.

Conclusion

In summary, the prompt remediation of contaminated material and
infrastructure repair must be the primary response to mold
contamination in city facilities. The simplest and most expedient
remediation that properly and safely removes fungal growth from
buildings should be used. In all situations, the underlying cause of
water accumulation must be rectified or the fungal growth will recur.
Emphasis should be placed on preventing contamination through
proper building maintenance and prompt repair of
water damaged areas.

Widespread contamination poses much larger problems that must be
addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the
Occupational Health and Safety Division representative or the
departmental safety specialist. Effective communication with
building occupants is an essential component of all remedial efforts.


APPENDIX
A
AIR SAMPLING GUIDELINES FOR FINAL AIR MONITORING
AND BACKGROUND AIR SAMPLING ON ALL PROJECTS
GREATER THAN 100 SQUARE FEET


Prior to starting any remediation project over 100 square feet
background air samples should be taken for documentation and
comparison purposes. Background samples should use the following
guidelines.


Use Zefon total spore cassettes

Run sample for 10 minutes at a flow rate of 15 liters per minute

Minimum 2 maximum 5 samples per workspace based on the size of
the
remediation area.

Locate samples evenly throughout the workspace

Take one sample outdoors as near the HVAC intake as possible.
Avoid foliage
and standing water.

Include 1 field blank in the sample set.
After completion of the remediation and upon passing a thorough
visual inspection air
sampling for documentation to support a conclusive removal has
occurred should take
place. Air sampling should be done prior to removal of the
containment and the HEPA
negative air machines (2200 CFM units) shall run (in negative
pressure mode) for a
minimum of 12 hours after completion of the removal prior to
beginning sampling. The
negative air machines shall be turned off for a minimum of 30 minutes
prior to the start
of sampling and shall remain off for the duration of the sampling. After
the completion
of the sampling the negative air machines can be turned back on until
final results are in
and clearance is given by the City Industrial Hygienist. The following
is a list of
guidelines to use in setting up the air-sampling plan:


Use total spore (i.e. Zefon) cassettes

Run sample for 10 minutes

Use a pump set with a flow rate of 15 liters per minute

Minimum number of inside samples is 2 and maximum number of
inside samples
is 5 based on size of the remediation area

Location of inside samples should be evenly distributed throughout
the workspace

1 sample should be taken outdoors as near the HVAC intake as
possible. Avoid
locating near foliage and or standing water. Take another sample
outside the
isolation near the decontamination chamber entrance.

Include 1 field blank in the sample set
If the remediation has passed a visual inspection and the final inside
air sampling
indicates number and types of spores found equal to or less than the
out door sample the
area can re-opened. Please note that 1 or 2 spores found inside the
area and not outside
do not necessarily reflect mold proliferation but is reflective of the
normal variation
found in natural spore distribution. If the inside area has a higher
number of spores and
or greater that three spores of a type not found outdoors then the
area needs to be reinspected, re-cleaned and re-sampled.



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This website provides information and procedures for finding, testing,
cleaning and preventing indoor mold, toxic black mold, green mold,
testing building indoor air quality, and other sick house / sick building
investigations.



MOLD RELATED ILLNESS - Asthma, Allergies, Lung, Neurological,
Other Complaints?
The following articles provide detailed information about mold-related
illnesses.

Clinical Atlas of Mold Toxicity - An Online Description of Toxic,
Pathogenic, Allergenic Fungi, Fungal Diseases
Fiberglass Insulation Contains Mold© 2005 comments about a field
study in process, & more about health hazards from fiberglass
insulation - DJF
Odors, Odor Detection, Smells, & Gases how to find and identify
sources of noxious or toxic odors and gases
Other environmental risks, Our much longer list: Asbestos, carbon
monoxide, electromagnetic fields, etc.
Pollen Allergens: identification,
Products to Reduce Mold & Allergy Problems to reduce indoor mold
or allergen levels: air cleaners, air purifiers, dust mite covers, vacuum
cleaners, crawl space vents
Recognizing Allergens: What various indoor allergens look like -
identification photos to help identify pollen, dust mites, animal dander,
toxic or allergenic mold - Common Mold and other Allergens, Irritants,
Remedies & Advice
Rodent control issues, including dander, fecal, and urine
contamination of Buildings and Building insulation are discussed at
our Mold Action Plan page.
Sewage and Septic backup contamination in Buildings: inspection,
testing, remediation, & references to expert sources
PREVENT MOLD - How to Prevent Mold Growth and Avoid Mold
Problems in Buildings
The following articles provide detailed information about how to
prevent mold growth in buildings and in their mechanical systems.

Building Floods: quick steps after a building flood or plumbing leak
can prevent costly mold contamination
Mold Action Guide after Flooding: How to Minimize Mold Damage
After a Building Flood
How to Prevent Mold: how to avoid mold growth in buildings: priorities,
repairs, products
Humidity Control to Avoid Mold: How Low Should You Keep Indoor
Humidity to Avoid a Mold Problem
Mold-Resistant Building Practices some detailed suggestions from an
expert on preventing mold growth indoors
Ozone Warnings - Use of Ozone as a "mold" remedy is ineffective and
may be dangerous.
Meruliporia incrassata - "Poria" the house eating fungus Meruliporia
incrassata or perhaps a different mold, Serpula lacrymans - which one
is the "house eating fungus" - what it house rotting mold like in a
building and under the microscope
MOLD DETECTION - Mold Identification Photos and Tips
These articles explain how to find and recognize mold in a building.
The articles include mold recognition photos, methods of visual
inspection for mold, and explanation of how to cut your mold
investigation cost and trouble by learning to recognize stuff that is not
mold at all. We also explain that not all black mold is harmful. Some
is cosmetic only. Visual inspection can answer some of these
questions without mold testing.


How to Find and Test for Mold in Buildings - Looking for Mold - A
"how to" photo and text primer on finding and testing for mold in
Buildings
Choosing a Sampling Point to conduct a mold test
SAMPLING DRYWALL for mold
Sampling Mistakes when conducting a mold test
Attic Mold how to recognize mold in an attic, when is it a problem?
Basement mold how to recognize mold in a basement, is it a problem?
Basketball Mold Syndrome - BBMS- sudden attention to old clues in
buildings makes them seem brand new to some observers
Crawlspace mold how to recognize mold in a crawl space, where will it
be, is it a problem?
Do-It-Yourself-Warnings for people inspecting and testing for toxic
mold
Mold on Dirt Floors in basements and crawl spaces
MOLD ON or IN CARPETS where to look for mold on and under
carpeting
Hidden Mold a list and photos of other places to look for hidden or
hard to spot mold contamination in buildings
Hidden Mold: photo guide shows how to find hidden toxic or even
simply cosmetic mold in buildings

What Does Mold Look Like? Mold spores in the Home - a Photo ID
Library for detection and identification of mold allergens
Stuff That is Not Mold but is often mistaken for it - things you may not
want to test. Not all "black mold" is toxic or harmful.
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES - do we need to
look for, find, remove, or try to kill mold on mating wood surfaces such
as between floor joist tops and subfloor underside, or between a wall
sill plate and the subfloor surface? What about between layers of
wood flooring and subflooring?
Lighting: Proper use of lighting discloses hard to see but toxic light or
white mold colonies on building surfaces - read this if you're doing
your own tape sampling for mold.
Lighting, using to find mold - proper use of a flashlight can help spot
mold on paneling and other building surfaces
Mold Investigation Tips for Home Inspectors how to find mold, where
to look, what is likely to be important. Advice to Building inspectors
intending to inspect or test for toxic or problematic mold indoors, mold
inspection methods, and mold test methods which are valid or invalid
Most Common Indoor Molds Found in Buildings, A Table of
Meruliporia incrassata the house eating fungus or "poria" may be
mistaken for wood rot.


MOLD TEST PROCEDURES - Valid and in-valid mold testing
methods & protocols. Are some mold test kits junk science?
Please see Mold Sampling Methods in the Indoor Environment and in
addition, the mold test critique articles listed just below.
Validity of Common Indoor Mold Sampling Techniques
Examining the Validity of Current Indoor Mold Sampling Techniques,
Daniel Friedman, (Illustrated Power Point Presentation) 15th Annual
North Carolina/South Carolina Environmental Association Technical
Conference
Tape: Mold Testing by Tape of a Moldy Surface "bulk" or "tape"
samples and their interpretation - a brief tutorial
Tape: How to Report Mold Levels in Tape Samples of Surfaces in
Buildings
Air: Mold Testing by Air Samples & their interpretation - a brief tutorial
on indoor air sampling for mold - are spore counts per cubic meter of
air accurate and valid? Using air sampling to determine if a mold
problem is "present" or "absent" and the role of cultures for "viable
spore sampling" are criticized. Air sampling used alone is an
unreliable way to look for mold and is highly questionable as a means
of characterizing a precise mold exposure level indoors.
Basketball Mold Syndrome - BBMS- sudden attention to old clues in
buildings makes them seem brand new to some observers
Carpet Mold Inspection how to look for mold in carpets
Carpet Mold Test Guide suggestions for alternative methods to test
carpeting for mold
Culture: Mold Testing by Cultures & "Home Test Kits for Mold" -
Validity of Settlement Plates or Swabs to test for toxic mold in
Buildings - a brief tutorial
Mold Sampling Methods in the Indoor Environment a critique of
popular mold testing methods - Is your "expert" using valid methods?
Is your mold test kit worth the bother? (Technical Paper.)
Toxic Mold Testing Methods Compared, also Toxic Gas Testing
Methods and MVOC's - valid vs. invalid methods, recommendations
compares air sampling for mold, surface or tape sampling for mold,
culture or swab sampling for mold, and gas MVOC sampling methods
for mold or other toxins, and organizes links to papers on each of
these topics.
A Comparison of Some Indoor Air Sampling Devices - simultaneous
application of popular sampling cassettes and slide samplers allows
comparison of typical particle collection variation by device in actual
field use. A field study in process by DJF, 2008 - 2005 (Technical
Paper)
Burkard personal air sampler used by many residential investigators
(we use multiple units simultaneously in some investigations). We
also employ other residential building sampling equipment for
surface, air, vacuum, and bulk sample collection methods as well as
for gases.
Alternative, low-cost air sampling equipment and methods such as the
mini-vacuum pump and Zefon Air-o-Cell or Allergenco-d cassettes or
MCE filter cassettes for viable, non-viable or other forensic particle
identification in Buildings. A field study in process by DJF, 2005 -
2006 (Technical Paper)
Allergenco Mk-III time-lapse impaction air sampling equipment - study
changes in particle dispersion under varying conditions (furnace
on/off) A field study in process by DJF, 2004 - 2006 (Technical Paper)
Mold Testing: Bulk or Tape Surface Samples and their interpretation -
a quick tutorial A brief introduction to using adhesive tape to collect
particle samples such as from mold-covered surfaces; scrapes onto
microscope slide and Vacuum Samples of Building Cavities: Wall
Check type vacuum pump and canister permits "sampling" of mold
and allergens in wall, ceiling, and floor cavities but our direct field
testing indicates that this method is highly unreliable.

When the building interior surfaces were demolished we then
performed a visual inspection and collected bulk surface samples
using tape. The wall check samples were completely unable to detect
large and significant mold contamination in the cavities of this building.

We postulate that even with mechanical agitation (banging on the wall
during wall check sampling) the flow rate of the sampling method
does not move enough air to reliably pick up surface contamination
unless the mold genera/species happens to be at a particularly high
state of active sporulation. The tool remains in the professional's
arsenal, to be used with discretion.
Vacuum samples of Soft Goods of carpeting, drapes, furniture,
clothing permits testing for mold contamination. We use this method
for screening of areas where mold is not visible, and in clearance
testing.
MOLD CULTURES - Validity and Usefulness of Mold Cultures &
Culture-Based Home Test Kits for mold
For a quick to understand overview of the validity and usefulness or
perhaps not-usefulness of culture tests for mold, see Validity of
Cultures (settlement plates or swabs) to find toxic mold in Buildings
which is an overview and critique of using mold cultures, settlement
plates, petri dishes, and cultured swab samples, and air sample
testing limitations for determining what's in a Building, and which tests
are useful in different situations.

For more thorough detail see Shortcomings of cultured mold samples
which lists a number of detailed concerns about viable spore traps
and culture media for Building problem detection

MOLD CLASSES, LEVELS - Mold Hazard levels, Mold Spore Count
Validity, Interpreting Mold Counts, and Classes of Mold
Please see MOLD CLASSES, LEVELS for the full text article on this
topic.

Airborne Mold Spore Counts: Airborne Mold Spore Counts - are indoor
fungal spore counts valid?
Mold Exposure Standards: Exposure Standards for Mold, Levels of
Severity of Indoor Mold Contamination - Various Published Standards
of Permissible Mold Exposure Limits: at what level is toxic or allergenic
mold a problem? - What does your "spores per cubic meter of air" or
"spore count" really mean - if anything?
MOLD EXPOSURE RISK LEVELS: How to Determine Mold
Contamination Probability or Mold Exposure Risk Levels in Buildings
Based on Visual Inspection
MOLD LEVEL IN AIR, VALIDITY: Mold Spore Counts - are indoor
fungal spore counts valid?
Mold Hazard Levels: Mold Classes, Levels of what types of cosmetic,
allergenic, or toxic mold are a problem? Can mold be cleaned-up
successfully?
Mold Reporting: How to Report Mold Levels in Mold Test Samples of
Surfaces in Buildings
Mold Spore Count Per Cubic Meter: airborne density counts of mold
spores per cubic meter of air - how to interpret low mold spore trap
count results
MOLD REPORTS - Mold and IAQ Investigation Reports
Indoor Air / Toxic Mold Field Investigation & Lab Reports - what to look
for in a toxic mold field investigation report and mold test laboratory
report ©
Indoor Air / Toxic Mold Test Lab Reports - what to look for in a toxic
mold test laboratory report ©
How to Report Mold Levels in Mold Test Samples of Surfaces in
Buildings - suggested non-quantitative definitions
Sick House Investigation Questionnaire used to collect occupant and
Building information that may aid the investigator ©


Rusts, or Uredinales, include Puccinia rusts that invade corn, cotton,
mint, sugar cane, and wheat, also Melampsora - flax, Hemileia -
coffee, Cronartium - pine, Uromyces - chickpea, bean, and many
others. There are about 5000 species in this group.

Our lab photo (left) shows typical Urediniospores from an air sample
where rust spores were frequent. (These are not wheat rust spores).

Wheat leaf rust causes small (1/32") reddish-brown pustules or
blisters to appear on the surface of plant leaves.

The wheat leaf rust Puccinia recondita spores may also produce a
reddish brown dust (mold spore powder).

Mature wheat leaf rust fungus pustules and their fungal spores may
be dark brown or even black. Wheat leaf rust spores live only on live
leaves but survive the winter on leaf fragments, periodically reaching
epidemic proportions in the wheat crop. Interestingly, the location of
wheat rust on the plant can indicate its source: rust on upper plant
leaves suggests that spores blew into the wheat field from a more
distant location, while wheat rust pustules found on lower plant leaves
indicate that the rust fungus over-wintered on leaves in the local field.

In addition to application of systemic wheat foliar fungicides such as
Tilt, Quadris, and Mancozeb, some varieties of wheat are bred to
resist this fungus, and experts note that resistant species are the best
way to control wheat rust epidemics. More information about wheat
leaf rust is at the Kansas State University Website.

Rust spores can be quite beautiful, belying the crop damage they
may cause, as our lab photo of Pileolaria brevipes (a rust spore found
in an air sample we collected in San Diego, CA) shows at left.

While InspectAPedia.com focuses attention on building and indoor
environmental concerns, the history and forensic work on Puccinia
recondita is so important to the world's wheat crop and serves so well
as an example of good investigative work that we have included this
expanding topical section.

Contact Us to contribute to this section or for other website critique or
content suggestions.


TECHNICAL PROCEDURES - Technical & Laboratory Procedures
Good Laboratory and Microscope Procedures are critical in making
sense of field samples. Competent, trained, experienced
aerobiologists, mycologists, and microbiologists can identify sample
contents with good accuracy. Depending on the experience of the
laboratory, it is also possible to interpret the meaning of the sample
for the Building and its occupants. Laboratory professionals who have
also performed the field inspection can make useful extrapolations
from lab results. Hasty work by disinterested parties may be less
useful for Building occupants and owners.

Please see TECHNICAL & LAB PROCEDURES for the full text article
on this topic.

Air Sampler Specifications Required for Airborne Particle Calculations
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