Click here to sign in.

Global Map
 

Home
What's New
Technical Support
Training
Product Catalogs
Industry Links
Supplier Relations
About North
Contact Us

 

North Safety Products US - MOLD
 
 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATIONS


OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration)
EPA IAQ (Environmental Protection Agency: Indoor Air Quality)
EPA  Table 2 (Environmental Protection Agency: Table 2 Guidelines)
NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health)
CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
Sampling for Mold


Federal Government Recommendations

Currently there are no Federal Standards or recommendations (e.g. OSHA, NIOSH, EPA) for airborne concentrations of mold or mold spores. Information provided by the various government agencies are guidelines only, and therefore, not legal obligations. Citations can only be based on standards, regulations and OSHA’s General Duty Clause.  - OSHA recommends, (but does not require) respiratory protection such as an N95 when cleaning mold [refer to “OSHA’s Fact Sheet on Natural Disaster Recovery: Fungi”]

The EPA offers basic guidance, grouping respiratory protection by the extent of the cleanup required and the size of the area to be remediated [refer to EPA’s “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings; Table 2 Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water”]

NIOSH does not make any specific recommendations for respiratory protection from exposure to mold and mold spores. NIOSH has some default recommendations for basic PPE, but does not include respiratory protection. The Agency refers to the NIOSH Pocket Guide for any specific contaminant exposures that may be encountered. [refer to NIOSH’s “Hazards of Flood Cleanup”]

The CDC also offers very broad guidelines, and is most concerned with exposure to the cleaning solutions recommended. For larger areas (10 sq ft or more) the CDC refers to EPA’s “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings; Table 2 Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water
[refer to CDC’s “Protect Yourself from Mold”]
 

It's important to know all environmental factors to determine the right PPE.
 

OSHA: Molds & Fungi: Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards as issued and enforced by either the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or an OSHA-approved State Plan. In addition, Section 5(a)(1), the General Duty Clause, requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Employers can be cited for violating the General Duty Clause if there is such a recognized hazard and they do not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard. However, failure to implement these guidelines is not, in itself, a violation of the General Duty Clause. Citations can only be based on standards, regulations, and the General Duty Clause.

Source: OSHA: Molds & Fungi: Standards NIOSH-approved respirators are strongly recommended. Respiratory protection such as the N-95 must be used in accordance with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Also wear gloves and eye protection.

OSHA: Fact Sheet on Natural Disaster Recovery: Fungi
EPA: Indoor Air Quality: Mold
Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants. Source: EPA: Indoor Air Quality: Mold


EPA Table 2

Investigating, Evaluating, and Remediating Moisture and Mold Problems

Table 2: Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water
Table 2 presents remediation guidelines for building materials that have or are likely to have mold growth. The guidelines in Table 2 are designed to protect the health of occupants and cleanup personnel during remediation. These guidelines are based on the area and type of material affected by water damage and/or mold growth.  Please note that these are
guidelines; some professionals may prefer other cleaning methods.

         
   
Mold in basement   Mold growth on supply diffusers   Mold under sink

Photos provided by Envirochex of Dallas, TX.


If you are considering cleaning your ducts as part of your remediation plan, you should consult EPA's publication entitled, Should You Have the Air Ducts In Your Home Cleaned?(8) (see Resources List). If possible, remediation activities should be scheduled during off-hours when building occupants are less likely to be affected. Although the level of personal protection 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 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. When in doubt, caution is advised. Consult an experienced mold remediator for more information. In cases in which a particularly toxic mold species has been identified or is suspected, when extensive hidden mold is expected (such as behind vinyl wallpaper or in the HVAC system), when the chances of the mold becoming airborne are estimated to be high, or sensitive individuals (e.g., those with severe allergies or asthma) are present, a more cautious or conservative approach to remediation is indicated. Always make sure to protect remediators and building occupants from exposure to mold.

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 and 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

SOURCE: EPA: Guidelines for remediating Building Materials with Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water

NIOSH: Chemical Hazards

Disaster sites pose many occupational health and safety concerns. These hazards and exposures are a function of the unstable nature of the site, the potential for worker exposure to unknown hazardous substances and the type of work performed. An accurate assessment of all hazards may not be possible because they may not be immediately obvious or identifiable. Where possible, NIOSH has made default recommendations for PPE that we believe will meet the probable hazards. General PPE Guidance: For most work in flooded areas, or areas that have been subjected to flooding, response personnel will need the following personal protective equipment: hard hats, goggles or safety glasses, heavy work gloves, watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank), and hearing protection where excessive noise from equipment poses a risk of hearing damage. PPE should be provided in a range of sizes to ensure proper fit. For additional information on what equipment you need for protection against exposure to specific hazards, contact your local OSHA office or consult the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards.

Source : NIOSH: Hazards of Flood Cleanup 

CDC: Protect Yourself and Your Workers from Mold

To remove mold growth from hard surfaces use commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Use a stiff brush on rough surface materials such as concrete.  

If you choose to use bleach to remove mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia. Mixing bleach and ammonia can produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.

  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.

  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings . Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it free by calling the EPA Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse at (800) 438-4318, or by going to the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html .

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

  • More information on personal safety while cleaning up after a natural disaster is available at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/workers.asp.


  • Also check out their guide: CDC: Protect Yourself from Mold
 

<- BACK TO MOLD ARTICLE INDEX

 
 
 
Home Page    Privacy Statement
North by Honeywell
2013 North by Honeywell. All Rights Reserved. honeywell