In late 2018, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced it had developed a Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for General Buildings. It is available online and is meant to provide a mechanism to investigate, record and compare indoor conditions over time, as well help to prioritize remediation of problem areas.
The NIOSH document shares the following information:
The health of those who live, attend school or work in damp buildings has been a growing concern through the years due to a broad range of reported building-related symptoms and illnesses. Research has found that people who spend time in damp buildings are more likely to report health problems such as these:
• Respiratory symptoms (such as in nose, throat, lungs)
• Development or worsening of asthma
• Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a rare lung disease caused by an immune system response to repeated inhalation of sensitizing substances such as bacteria, fungi, organic dusts and chemicals)
• Respiratory infections
• Allergic rhinitis (often called “hay fever”)
Exposures in damp buildings are complex. They vary from building to building, and in different places within a building. Moisture allows indoor mold to multiply more easily on building materials or other surfaces, and people inside buildings may be exposed to microbes and their structural components, such as spores and fungal fragments. Mold may also produce substances that can cause or worsen health problems, and these substances vary depending on the mold species and on conditions related to the indoor environment. Moisture can also attract cockroaches, rodents and dust mites. Moisture-damaged building materials can also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause health problems.
These are just a few things to know about the NIOSH Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for General Buildings that can be found at the following website https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2019-115/pdfs/2019-115-508.pdf?id=10.26616/NIOSHPUB2019115.
To learn more about mold assessments and testing services or other indoor air quality, building science, environmental, health and safety issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark https://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. https://www.emsl.com
LA Testing https://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental https://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine https://www.healthyindoors.com