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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


Controlling moisture is the key, mold testing and remediation consultant says

DOVER, N.J. -- (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE via PRNetwire) -- September 16, 2002 -- Whether it is floating through the air, carried in moving water or sitting in a dormant state, mold is everywhere - waiting for the right combination of moisture, heat and food to begin its rapid growth. In most cases, mold is present in such small quantities that it does not trigger negative reactions in most people, but once it finds ideal growth conditions in places like homes, businesses and office buildings, it can spark allergies and cause health problems.

"Mold is often found in coastal areas and regions that experience prolonged humidity and heavy rains. In these places, controlling the inflow of warm, moist air can be a challenge," said Robert E. Sheriff, CEO of Atlantic Environmental Inc., a New Jersey-based firm that performs health, safety and environmental consulting services nationwide, including mold testing and mold remediation. "Mold needs moisture, heat and food sources to grow. If you remove any of the three, you will prevent growth."

Controlling moisture is crucial to thwart the growth of mold, Sheriff says. In some buildings, the moisture source can be identified, isolated and controlled. In some cases, the entire building is a mold incubator. To minimize moisture in a building, Sheriff recommends regular inspections of areas that are often damp and wet. Immediately remove the moisture through absorbent materials or a de-humidifier. The annual cleaning of air intakes, diffusers and filter boxes is essential. Also immediately remove moldy spots on walls, floorboards and other surfaces once they are discovered.

"When evaluating the growth potential for mold inside a building, it's important to measure the type and amount of mold in the air on the outside as well as the inside," Sheriff said. "Typically, the amount and type inside is about the same or less as outside. If the inside level is considerably more, that indicates there is likely a problem (such as a leaky roof, condensation on water pipes or another moisture source)."

To determine the quantity of mold in a building, Sheriff recommends using an air sampling device or performing a surface sample test, which involves wiping over a measured surface. Sitting out a culture plate, Sheriff believes, is not effective since mold and mold spores are so small they don't settle until they attach themselves to dust or moisture, which allows them to reach a surface like furniture, floors or walls.

To learn more about mold, and for more information on mold testing and mold remediation services offered by Atlantic Environmental Inc., visit (800) 344-4414.

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