Mold doesn't need much to get started. Supplied with a little moisture and some warmth it's very hard to completely eradicate once it gets started. In situations where there are large areas of mold, or when flooding or plumbing problems have occurred, it's important to follow recommended safety procedures while completing your work.
There are a few basic precautions everyone working in moldy areas should follow. First, avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. Undisturbed, mold isn't likely to be airborne. But during cleanup, spores will float on air currents and can enter the lungs unless precautions are taken. A disposable respirator, either with a valve, or without, will provide suitable protection for light cleanup.
Half-face respirators provide a greater degree of protection when used with the proper mold filters. These filters aren't specifically made for mold remediation. But they are the best product on the market for this type of work.
The 3M 2097 Particulate Filters are rated P100 which means they will filter out 99.9% of particles down to .3 microns when paired with a properly fitting mask. Mold particles definitely fall within that size range, and the 2097 filters also have a layer of activated charcoal which will filter out some unpleasant smells often associated with large-scale mold cleanup.
If you want top of the line protection, consider the full-face mask from Moldex with particulate and organic vapor filters. It provides lung and eye protection, and its special design pulls cool air over the faceshield to virtually eliminate fogging.
In addition to lung protection, workers need to wear gloves that are fairly long. Ordinary household rubber gloves are fine if you are using mild detergents. However chlorine bleach or stronger cleaning solutions require something a bit tougher, such as the Ansell 37-155 Unlined Nitrile Gloves. They come past the wrist and are effective at keeping mold spores out as you clean.
Goggles or protective eyewear is also required. Mold wants a wet, warm area to grow, and the mucus membrane of the eye is an ideal incubator. Mold spores in the eye can cause serious health problems. The EPA recommends goggles that do not have ventilation holes. We recommend the Pyramex G704T Chemical Splash Goggles. They are economical, and their low-profile design generally doesn't get in the way of respirators.
If you have questions about mold remediation, please give us a call or contact us online at pksafety.com.