Indoor Air

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Indoor Air Quality and Mold

You may have heard or read lately that air pollution indoors can be a much greater risk than outdoor pollution. One factor that makes indoor air quality so important is that the majority of people spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Think of it. You can be in the presence of both chemical and biological pollutants almost all of your life!

Mold is one of the biological pollutants that is a living organism. Damp conditions, absolutely necessary for the growth of mold, occur in the majority of homes, especially homes in areas where the climate itself is moist. Mold can enter a home or business in the air, on clothes, or on a person's skin. Tiny mold spores that molds produce in their reproductive process sometimes land on damp spots in buildings. When this happens, an environment is created in which they can begin to grow.

Controlling Indoor Air Quality

Mold spores can grow on carpets, paper, and wood, behind wallpaper, in bathtubs, and even on food. The moister the environment, the more rapidly the mold will grow, and, if it grows enough, it will, in turn, have a negative impact on inside air quality. For mold to grow, an environment must contain mold spores, a source of food for the mold, the right temperature, and moisture.

The key to reducing mold in an indoor environment is controlling moisture levels. Some people get humidifiers for their homes and then do not understand why they sense a musty, moldy odor. Instead of a humidifier, if you suspect mold, you should get a dehumidifier. Also, you should clean and keep dry areas around appliances that produce or come into contact with water. If you have any leaks or flooding, you must make sure the area is cleaned and dry as quickly as possible. To avoid or minimize the effects of mold on health and property, be aware of moisture issues and address them as soon as they occur.

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