INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CONSULTING
MOLD & MOISTURE EVALUATIONS
Cashins & Associates: Identifying issues and ensuring that your buildings and your people stay safe during remediation.
Cashins & Associates works with contractors, building owners, facility managers, and restoration professionals to ensure that any mold and/or moisture damage is dealt with in a safe, satisfactory manner. Our professionals work to ensure that the building is restored in a way that will not cause further damage and that keeps occupants safe during the course of the restoration process.
What is Mold?
Molds are forms of fungi found all year round both indoors and outdoors. It is speculated that there could be over 1 million types of molds. Most people are exposed to several hundred species during the course of a single day. Molds found outdoors grow in soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. Molds found inside a building are brought in from outside. Molds like all fungi produce spores.
Spores are microscopic cells that spread easily through the air. Like seeds, spores remain airborne until they land on organic material that can be used as a nutrient source. If the right amount of moisture is present on the organic material, the spores will grow.
Fungi can cause disease in humans by a variety of biological mechanisms, which can be classified into four groups:
- Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions
- Irritant reactions
- Toxic reactions
The most common result of mold exposure is allergic or hypersensitivity reactions. Long-term effects and toxic reactions are not fully understood.
Where is mold found?
Mold exists everywhere in the outdoor environment. In most cases mold concentration is much higher outdoors than indoors. This presents challenges when attempting to determine “safe” indoor levels.
Humans are regularly exposed to high mold spore concentrations when outdoors. Those with allergies will present symptoms; those without do not present any obvious signs of exposure. Determining an exposure limit is not likely to happen due to the large number of spore types and the wide ranging reactions individuals have to mold.
Moisture-related problems can cause discomfort in building occupants. Studies have shown that damp buildings can significantly impact health. Damp indoor environments are associated with respiratory and nasal symptoms, exacerbation of asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. In some cases the exposure risk is serious and can be life threatening. Also, building materials in such an environment may degrade and fail rapidly.
Pipe breaks, fire sprinkler releases, flooding, roof leaks, and sewage backups are cause for concern in any commercial building. Occupant anxiety becomes elevated as work areas are damaged and disrupted. Cashins & Associates can ensure that your water damage event is properly taken care of so you can avoid a future mold problem.
Beware of the “Mold Inspector”
Many home and building inspectors are jumping on the mold bandwagon. Most of these inspectors do not have a sufficient educational background to diagnose mold and moisture-related issues. Mold assessments require an extensive knowledge of fungi, aerobiology, sampling strategies, and health affects. Many inspectors will unnecessarily collect air and/or surface samples because they do not understand the dynamics that are important with diagnosing a building.
How Cashins & Associates Is Different
Our firm is focused on industrial hygiene and environmental health. All of our work is performed by or under the direction of a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). You can be assured that our assessments will be performed following the latest scientific based procedures. Our staff continues to follow the latest developments in this ever-changing field so that we may provide our clients with the best evaluation possible. We’re Cashins & Associates. Health and Safety for Your People … and Your Property. Call or E-Mail Us Today.