Healthy Indoors Magazine - USA Edition

HI April 2021-USA Edition

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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18 | April 2021 I always recommend that my clients use a HEPA vacuum, which has a "high efficiency particulate arrestance" filter, because con- ventional vacuums can emit potentially allergenic particulates in the exhaust stream. Furniture: Many antiques at some point have been stored in a damp basement, garage, or other unconditioned space. I often find visible mold growth on such pieces, especially drop-leaf tables. Mold on the bottom of a drop-leaf table. May Indoor Air Investigations, LLC Exterior walls can be cooler than interior walls. Air and surfaces next to exterior walls can be cooler than air and surfaces in the middle of a heated room. As air cools, its relative humidity (RH) rises, and many species of mold can grow with the RH is over 80 percent. You can remove surface mold growth from solid surfaces, but upholstered pieces may have to be reupholstered or discarded. Cushioned furniture can also be infested with dust mites. One M any indoor air quality (IAQ) problems are caused by building conditions, such as poor ventilation or moldy heating or cooling equipment. But some sources of IAQ problems are brought into buildings by occupants. Below are some of those surprising, everyday possessions that can expose building occupants to contaminants, allergens, and irritants. Books: Books that have been stored in an unconditioned space (not heated or cooled) such as a damp basement or garage can acquire mold growth on the spines, covers, or even inside the pages if the books have ever been damp. If any of your books smell musty, without opening the books you can carefully HEPA vacuum the covers and spines and then air the books outside in the sun. But any books that contain visible mold growth should probably be discarded. If the books are valuable, you can keep them in tightly lidded plastic boxes, and only open the box outside (wear a mask when doing so). In the end, though, it's just not a great idea to have moldy books in your home or office, because every time you open such a book, you will be exposed to mold spores, which remain allergenic even when dead. By Jeffrey C. May, ©2021 Importing Indoor Air Quality Problems Mold growth on books and a bookshelf. May Indoor Air Investigations, LLC

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