Office building alert
“Occupants within damp office buildings, schools, and other nonindustrial buildings may develop respiratory symptoms and disease.”
What causes the health hazard
Mold, bacteria and the breakdown of building materials have been associated with a host of respiratory ailments like asthma, bronchitis, infections, etc. Anyone exposed who is already suffering from respiratory problems runs the risk of having their condition worsened or even raised to the next more severe level.
Faulty design or maintenance can be factors
Often dampness in buildings is the result of poor design, construction or certification before people occupy the premises. According to NIOSH, “These problems and associated health effects can be prevented by making dampness prevention a goal (during the planning phase).”
Once the structure is built, however, dampness can occur through lack of good maintenance and preventative measures before and during bad weather. You don’t need to be a biologist with a mold spore measurement instrument. Just look for leaks, damp areas, water dangers and signs of mold. The telltale musty odor and overall clammy feeling you experience around indoor damp areas
are commonsense detection measures that are your call to action. What building owners and employers need to do:
- Actively and aggressively respond when anyone reports environmental or health concerns associated with environmental dampness.
- Inspect building areas exposed to the weather or subject to dampness (cellars, crawls spaces,
attics, etc.) and do what is necessary to dry, repair and seal them.
- Keep the indoor humidity down by using dehumidifiers for your climate control systems.
- Within 48 hours after porous building materials become wet or damp, take steps to repair or replace damp-infested areas.
- Tell your employees about the dangers of exposure to dampness. Write up your plans for response to complaints or evidence of human exposure to hazardous mold and bacteria.
- Publish and distribute your plans and keep them ready and updated as necessary.
How employees can get into the picture
The NIOSH alert recommends that workers and building occupants:
- Report signs of dampness or musty smells and moldy odors. Tell employers about any associated health problems that may be occuring as a possible result of workplace dampness.
- Talk to a physician who is qualified in occupational medicine. Tell the employer what the physician discovered.
- If the employer has an indoor environmental quality program or team, get involved and participate. If the team is not established or active, encourage management to get one going.
Letting in the fresh air
When you have uncovered the cause and taken the steps to combat mold and mildew, it’s time to deodorize and let in the fresh air. Contact us and check out our ozone generating equipment. Satisfaction guaranteed!