Sick building syndrome and attendant health problems are a widespread disaster in the making that threatens our national economy. A sick building is a structure that has become contaminated with any number of harmful agents. In this book, we focus on the serious contaminants causing fungal infestation, commonly referred to as mold. Mold may be allergenic in itself, its components may be allergenic, and the contaminating organism may also exude allergens and deadly toxins.
The problem occurs worldwide. This is a tragic matter since the most seriously afflicted are often children due to the asthma that may result. Mold plagues the richest and poorest of homes and people alike. The cost to health is significant. A water leak can occur behind a wall in a dwelling, perhaps unknown to its occupants, until the leak appears or the sinister color of mold is evident. The occupants thereby become vulnerable economically and their health may be compromised. The cost to remediate or correct problems has the potential to ruin people financially unless they have an outstanding insurance company willing to cover such problems.
The problem of detection, observation, measurement, and remediation is presently treated in a reactive manner. A problem occurs then trained personnel are called in to provide their expertise. Just suppose that instead of being reactive, one could be proactive and predict problems and cause measures to be taken to counter problems before they occur (or sometimes after they occur but before they become injurious to excess). If this book is successful, it will provide a means to help in present-day, immediate, short-term solutions for existing dwellings affected with mold. It will also provide solutions for future construction so that the problem may diminish with time.
The book is organized to present the overall challenges involved in the subject, the history of building mold contamination, and the input of experts (scientific, architectural, engineering, health care, and environmental). Areas not covered as expertise (legal and regulatory areas) are presented in the form of practical suggestions from the experience of the authors in order to provide suggestions to those affected by mold or those working in the area.
The book is designed to be a reference with practical information for many groups, including consumers, remediation specialists, construction experts, scientists, engineers, attorneys, physicians, pharmacologists, psychiatrists, insurance specialists, government agencies, environmental groups, those providing short- and long-term education in the field, and the housing industry. Numerous references are provided to aid further research and investigation.
The book provides suggested solutions in each topic area plus a summary chapter on recommendations to address the interests of many parties. The recommendations encompass consumer issues and health care subjects. The health care subjects include aspects of medical and psychiatric matters and details from experts in epidemiological studies. Construction industry issues, insurance industry needs, regulatory matters, practical sampling of contaminated areas, testing, remediation,x Preface “put back” of building components postmold, and structural component removal are addressed. Special sections on advice to consumers and suggestions for new buildingconstruction are included.
The book addresses practical challenges, and the authors attempt to impart imaginative and creative input to bring fresh thinking to a difficult area. The text presents information on needs and concerns, plus suggested solutions appropriate to industrial, consumer, academic, and governmental sectors in the United States and worldwide. The book addresses many technical subjects in science, engineering, and medicine since these are critical to identifying solutions to sick and damp building syndrome challenges.
Better materials science and the ability to know when mold will occur and how to prevent and remediate it are suggested to be critical and key remedies to mold infestation. Sound science and engineering can be incorporated as a package as part of a home or commercial buyer’s purchase. For example, the model for mold growth presented in this book (Chapter 5) can be adapted commercially to depict how mold growth can occur and how to prevent such growth. Chapters on mold biology and metrics can inform parties how to approach measuring infestation and understanding it. Chapters on mold and other contaminant particles, remediation, and repair can provide insight to parties beset with mold problems to help them know what to do in the event of a problem. The chapter on epidemiology conveys an understanding of the problem and its magnitude and presents aspects of health challenges.
Key features of the book include:
- Equations of mold growth and product formation useful in building design, mold prevention, and directing research to new solutions
- Mold genetics, biology, and products
- Mold epidemiology
- Analytical developments and sampling techniques to measure mold infestation and products to help investigators and mold remediators
- Photographs of mold infestation compared to other contaminant infestation
- Guideposts in remediation and put-back
- Case histories in mold remediation, including photographs
- Practical consumer and construction industry guidance
- Information to help attorneys and judges in legal cases
- Insurance industry (reference on claims)
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD; reference on new and existing housing with mold infestation)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; disease and health considerations due to mold)
- Housing and construction industry nationwide (optimizing construction, steps for developers dealing with this issue and liability)Preface xi
- Academic scientists and engineers (looking for grants in this area)
- Consumers with mold and health problems they attribute to mold
- Industrial scientists and engineers seeking uses for their products
- Physicians and psychiatrists who have to treat patients and wish background information on health care, and pharmacologists developing therapeutic agents to treat and prevent mold-related diseases or symptoms
- Attorneys and judges who must deal with legal cases and lawsuits
- Educators who wish to teach the subject and communicate findings to the community
Chapter 2: Epidemiology and Health Effects in Moisture-Damaged Damp Buildings
Chapter 3: Mold Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics
Chapter 4: Products of Mold Associated with Sick Building Syndrome
Chapter 5: Mathematical Model of Mold Propagation and Product Formation in Building Materials, Inherent Transport Phenomena, and Applications
Chapter 6: Forensic Studies in Moldy-Damp Buildings
Chapter 7: Practices in Identifying, Remediating, and Reoccupancy When Mold Occurs