MOLD IN HOUSE Causes - Effects - Remedies CKE OF A "ATT e "hurdles osc DOVE r B NS I ießl warts hl c SCH a Published by: Federal Environment Section II 1.3 "indoor hygiene" Section II 1.4 "Microbiology" Postfach 33 00 22 14191 Berlin Fax: (030) 8903-2912 info@umweltb undesamt.de www.umweltbundesamt.de Dr. Heinz-J rn Moriske Dr. Regine still hygie nically Volkhard M ckern Initiative for Advertising & Design (IWG) Environmental Information © SCHERAX ALK-Arzneimittel GmbH Hamburg, p. 5 right © DEHP AG Nurem berg, www.enius.de, title background, p. 3, p. 5, left, p. 7; p. 8, p. 11, p. 13 © Ralf Tophoven, T nisvorst, p. 2, p. 14 © UBA archive, cover, p. 4, p. 9 Augus t 2004 50,000 E-mail: Internet: Editors: Design: Production: Image rights: Stand: Reprint 1 CONTENTS Molds are not sitting on dry land! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two m olds - What is it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 molds - just annoying or even harmful? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 molds - the hidden problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 What to do if mold is discovered? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 mold in rental housing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 fight the mold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Prevention is better than cure! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Tips for proper ventilation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 About this broc hure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2 MOLD FUNGI NOT SITTING ON THE DRY! Molds are a natural part of our living environment. Their spores are found almos t everywhere, including indoors. They are usually harmless. However, the concent ration exceeds a certain level mold, can cause health problems for the residents . Molds need moisture to grow much. Causes of increased humidity inside building s can be, for example: a) direct entry of moisture, for example, about defective roofs (especially flat roofs), gutters and downpipes, cracks in walls; inadequa te drying after construction; water entry due to burst pipes, flood, disaster, e tc. b) inadequate removal of increased indoor air humidity by: improper heating and ventilation, especially in "airtight" buildings. Condensation (condensation) of humidity in the range of "cold" walls, which are due to inadequate insulatio n in many older buildings is a problem. Structural defects such as thermal bridg es also lead to new and old buildings along the water vapor condensation of Baus chadensbereiche. The list shows that in addition to construction and building ph ysical defects, and the residents contribute to increased humidity in the buildi ng. Inadequate ventilation in connection with activities that give rise to much humidity (showers, cooking, drying clothes, use of large aquariums, etc.) may in crease the humidity in the building above the tolerable proportion. This is espe




cially a problem if the building were sealed, save energy consuming. 3 Anyone can check the moisture in his apartment itself. Already a simple moisture measuring instruments (hygrometer) give an orientation on the relative humidity in the room. It should in the long run 65-70% in room air and directly along ex ceed 80% of wall surfaces is not sufficient to reduce the risk of mold growth. B y increasing tightness of windows etc. with elaborately renovated buildings with natural ventilation will reduce the ambient air. The resulting moisture in the building must then be transported through more air. Only at the beginning is in this context, the installation of mechanical ventilation systems, ie technical i nstallations to continually ensure a sufficient air exchange, without increased during the heating season, while heat energy is lost through ventilation. MOLD FUNGI - WHAT IS IT? "Molds can develop is a collective term for mushrooms, the typical hyphae and sp ores. Mold forming in the growth phase cell threads. These are usually colorless , so the mold at this stage, usually with the naked eye can not be detected. For the propagation and dissemination form mold "spores". These are often dyed, so that the mold at this stage even with the naked eye (such as black mold spots, o r yellow) is evident.€The mold growth in the interior is mainly determined by th ree factors: moisture, nutrients and temperature. Photo: www.enius.de 4 Molds can use a variety of materials as a medium, such as: various types of wood , particle board, paper, cardboard (including plasterboard), wallpaper, wallpape r paste, plastics, rubber, silicone, carpets, adhesives for floor coverings, pai nts, lacquers, leather. 1) 1) without antifungal additions Including in and on cement and concrete mold growth can occur. Molds may also gr ow on materials that emit no nutrients even if they have discontinued organic pa rticles and dust from the air to this (for example, glass). Molds can grow on ma terials only if a certain Mindestfeuchte exists. It is not the total moisture of the material is crucial, but only the mushrooms available "free" water. Molds m ay also grow in and on materials that are not visibly wet. It would a relative h umidity of about 80% at the surface of the material. Particularly good growth co nditions are found whenever there is condensation on or in the material. 5 MOLD FUNGI - just annoying OR HARMFUL? Numerous studies on the health effects of mold see a connection between exposure to mold and respiratory symptoms. Spores and metabolites of molds can inhale th e air that trigger allergic and irritant reactions in humans. In none of these s tudies, however, could yet be found, which are calculated from the concentration of molds in the air with negative health effects must. It is assumed that, in p rinciple, all molds are capable of triggering allergic reactions in susceptible individuals it. If allergies are the body's immune system is not against dangero us foreign substances (such as pathogens), but mistakenly against itself harmles s foreign substances (such as pollen, the ingredients of foods) weir. The first contact with the foreign substance (antigen) or no allergic reaction occurs, but the body is preparing for the production of defensive substances (antibodies) p rior to the fight against alleged pest. It refers to such a person as "sensitive ". Only upon re-exposure to the foreign substance can then cause allergic sympto ms, in which a chain of reactions in the body expires, has at one end of the typ

ical symptoms of allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, skin rash etc.. The most common are non-specific charges in the interior mold descri bed symptoms such as conjunctivitis, sore throat and nose irritation and cough, headache or fatigue. Infections caused by fungi (mycoses) are only very rarely a nd only in particularly susceptible, severely immunocompromised persons. Allergi c and irritant effects, both live and from dead mold go out during the initiatio n of infection, only live mold are qualified. Photo: www.enius.de Photo: ALK-SCHERAX 6 MOLD FUNGI - THE HIDDEN PROBLEM Often mold developing in secret. A musty, moldy odor or dark spots first on wall s, ceilings or furniture point to the existing problem. On suspected a hidden mo ld infestation, the affected areas will be addressed further. If necessary, cavi ties behind paneling, ceilings or walls will be excavated to reach the mold sour ce. Increasingly, specially trained mold detection dogs are used to detect hidde n mold contamination, or better to sniff ". Because almost all molds give volati le organic compounds into the atmosphere, which can smell a specially trained do g. The use of mold detection dogs must be remembered that the dog indeed marked a hidden mold, but this still does not allow any statement about the actual leve l of exposure to molds and of the possible health risk to residents. Another met hod is by measuring certain to identify molds in the indoor air of volatile meta bolic substances handed in a covered mold damage. These so-called MVOC "measurem ents are contested terms meaningfulness of the results. It is not always clear w hether the measured volatile organic compounds really all microbial origin.€The detection of increased concentrations of MVOC in indoor air also says nothing ab out the health risk to residents, nor should be inferred from the measurement of a restructuring decision. Unique is the situation at the surface with the naked eye recognizable mold (such as behind cabinets, in wall niches, etc.). For larg er infestations (more than 20-50 cm 2 of affected area must be analyzed not only costly, how high the exposure to molds in the apartment is available and what t ypes of mold in each case. It is necessary to act immediately. If mold sources d iscovered, it causes be investigated for mold infestation. Only then should the contaminated area be cleaned up properly, must be combated in any event the caus es. It should be clear, therefore, whether a mold source exists and what causes them, if necessary (has structural defects, failures by the users etc.). Such a study requires a high level of expertise and should be performed by a designated drug expert. A simple schematic approach is highly problematic. There is always the concrete individual cases with the assistance of all available information to judge. Before performing complex microbiological investigations should in7 next held a site visit. This site visit should be clarified the possible causes for an exposure to molds and held in a commit protocol. It should be clarified b y the commission, whether there are one or more sources for molds in indoor envi ronments. On an analysis of indoor air, the house dust and / or contaminated mat erials, the exact extent of the damage and the health risk can be estimated. The analysis should be performed only by experienced laboratories, as are the wrong approach for the measurement and misinterpretation of the results are not other wise excluded. Important: Make sure when awarding contracts for mold measurements indicate that operate the laboratories and quality control measures, for example, regularly a nd successfully take part in ring tests. If you doubt the "goodness" of the labo ratory have, get an assist from the local health department or consult with cons umer groups on the ground. If you are concerned about mold in your home a source

exists, which could affect your health, local health department or your Consumer any medical problem which you think you , you can contact your family doctor, an e medical association. Photo: www.enius.de 8

please seek advice in any case of your Organizations. They already suffer from are related to mold growth in your home environmental health center or the stat

WHAT TO DO IF THE MOLD IS DISCOVERED? The finding of a mold source in the interior is not the same as an acute health risk to the user space. The extent of health risks depends on the intensity and nature of the damage and the sensitivity of the user space and can often not be quantified precisely. Mold growth in the interior - is considered without this p recise dose-effect relationships - as a hygienic problem and should not be toler ated. It must apply the precautionary principle that the burden must be minimize d (minimize Bid) before it comes to diseases. If the assessment indicates that a fungal strain is present in the interior, should be a reorganization. Small amo unts of mold sources in the interior must be removed for reasons of preventive m edicine. A mold remediation without eliminating the causes, however, is not usef ul, as is likely to sooner or later take a new mold growth. It is therefore esse ntial to clarify the causes of mold growth, particularly the issue of increased Feuchteeintritts. Photo: www.enius.de 9 Mildew IN RENTAL Mildew in a house is considered Mietmangel. About the causes and the question of who should pay for repairing the damage arises in practice often dispute that h as to be decided in the end often by the court - after hearing from experts - mu st. Since mold exposure indoors is a hygiene problem and a burden on health can not be excluded for the sake of the health damage as possible by mutual agreemen t between tenants and landlords, are resolved quickly. For medical certificates of health problems due to mold exposure, it is important€that the diagnosis reve als a plausible connection between the complaints and exposure to molds. Important: Our information can not replace specific legal advice in individual c ases. Where there is doubt about the law and the rights and obligations to the t enant and landlord should therefore be best advised early on in law. Agencies, s uch as tenant associations or home and property owners associations can provide assistance here. 10 FIGHT the mold If can not be started immediately with remedial measures, it is necessary to det ermine whether the affected areas temporarily - if possible without Staubverwirb elung - can be cleaned and disinfected, for example, with 70% ethyl alcohol (eth anol) in dry areas and 80% ethyl alcohol in damp surfaces. Targeted Ventilation and heating can reduce the humidity in the room and a further mold growth are li mited. This measure is only useful if pre-existing mold spores have been removed to avoid high concentrations in indoor air and the emergence of secondary sourc es. Through increased ventilation and heating, and by moving away from exterior walls of the furniture (about 10 cm distance), the risk of dew point where acces s is difficult and thus a further decrease mold growth can be prevented. This me asure is only useful if pre-existing mold spores have been removed. Prerequisite for the success of a reorganization is the elimination of the causes that have

led to the appearance of mold growth. On site damage are correct and the user sp ace, including awareness of how to avoid in future mold growth. The rehabilitati on effort should be adjusted to the extent of the damage and the type of land us e. Play inter alia following factors play a role: the size of affected area, str ength of the infestation (individual spots or "thick" mold surface), depth of co ntamination (superficial or in deeper layers) occurring fungal species form (imp ortant for allergy and infection risk, some fungal species toxic toxins), type o f contaminated material (on the room side, quickly removed, materials or masonry ), type of use (storage room, living room, nursery, hospital). Using these crite ria, with competence to make an overall assessment. Subsequently, the resulting derived to formulate protective measures for the rehabilitation. Redevelopment o f smaller scope (for example, only superficial infestation, infested area of gre ater rather than about half a square meter, no structure defects), expected in t he case where there is no risk for healthy persons, can be generally carried out without the participation of technical staff, with the use of prior professiona l advice is recommended. For smooth surfaces (metal, ceramic, glass), a distance of 11 Water and normal household cleaning done. Contaminated porous materials (wallpap er, drywall, porous masonry, porous ceiling paneling) may be difficult or imposs ible to clean because the mold growth can be penetrated to deeper layers of mate rial. Affected plasterboard partitions or light should preferably be developed. be sure to not be removed, building materials, molds that are complete (ie remov ed in deeper layers). When wood is in principle between the so-called Holzbläue (superficial infection) and to distinguish the active mold growth due to an acut e Moisture damage with heavy sporulation of the fungi. In normal Holzbläue there is usually no need for remediation. Active infested wood is however very diffic ult to clean and must be disposed generally. In exceptions, a superficial infect ion to be removed by sanding. Infested furniture with a closed surface (chairs, cupboards) are clean wet surface to dry and disinfect if necessary with 70-80% e thyl alcohol (Use Caution: fire and explosion hazard! Breathing!). Heavily infes ted furniture with upholstery (chairs, sofa) are rarely cleaned with reasonably useful and should therefore be disposed of normally. Affected household textiles (carpets, curtains) are also mostly cleaned properly only with great effort, it is preferable that, depending on the cost of disposal. Affected wallpaper or si licone joints should be removed€superficially infected bodies or wet wiped with a vacuum cleaner with a Fine dust filter (HEPA) filter using suction, and then w ith 70-80% ethyl alcohol in compliance with the fire and explosion hazard (only small quantities, well ventilated, no smoking, no open fire) as well as the requ irements of occupational safety (protective gloves, masks, goggles treated). Aft er an intensive rehabilitation in cleaning the surroundings of the refurbished o ffices is made. The incurred in the renovation, with mold contaminated waste can be disposed of with household waste packed in plastic bags. Photos: www.enius.de 12 Protective measures for remediation of mold infestation: Do not touch mold with your bare hands - wear gloves. Do not inhale mold spores - wear mouthguards. Mold spores do not take leave dust in the eyes - safety glas ses. Showering After the reorganization and wash clothes. Important: It is often recommended to combat mold in a vinegar solution. This is usually not useful since many building materials and cause a particular lime ne utralization of vinegar and also go with the vinegar organic nutrients to the ma terial, which can even promote the growth of fungi. We also advise against the u se of chemical fungicides (fungicides with solutions) from the inside, because n ot excluded that these materials remain for a long time in the interiors and thr

eaten the health of residents. The remediation of materials have schimmelpilzbef allenen the aim must be to remove the mold completely. A mere destruction of mol ds is not sufficient, as can also come from mold killed allergic and irritant ef fects. During the renovation of mold infestation on materials, very high concent rations of spores are released. A renovation should be carried out under appropr iate security and safety conditions. It should also be noted that, for example, or where the allergen with chronic respiratory diseases and those with weak immu ne systems, a health risk can not be excluded, so that the rehabilitation of per sons does not "in-house should perform." More extensive rehabilitation work shou ld be carried out by commercial companies. These companies are on the subject, w ho are familiar with such rehabilitation work, the hazards that occur here, the necessary protective measures and rules to be followed and recommendations. 13 PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN HEAL! The main requirement for mold growth is the presence of moisture, which can be m ostly attributed to structural defects and / or bad user behavior. Proper measur es on site and reasonable room user behavior must work together in order to keep a home free of mold growth. Prerequisite for an apartment without mold growth o n the one hand is the construction of the building according to the state of the art. The prevention of mold growth, which, by moisture damage: Minimum insulati on (DIN 4108-2:2001-03), protection against driving rain (DIN 4108-3), sealing a gainst rising soil moisture (DIN 18195), regular roof (Craft Directive), water d ensity installations. Photo: www.enius.de 14 Special attention should be paid to places in the exterior wall, ceiling and roo f areas that are insulated or have insufficient or incorrect Other leaks where i t comes to increased condensation. For newly built or rehabilitated housing is b ecause of the associated Restbaufeuchte required over a period of significantly increased ventilation. For land uses with high Feuchteanfall and high air-tightn ess of the building envelope, it is sometimes not possible to reduce the humidit y by reasonable manual release to the essential minimum. In these cases, a mecha nical ventilation help. For mechanical ventilation are two main systems are cons idered: forced ventilation with exhaust fans in living areas with large Feuchtea nfall, for example kitchens and bathrooms. The fans are conveniently controlled via humidity sensors. Supply and exhaust systems with heat recovery. In these sy stems, which should be operated as possible so that the window during the heatin g season must be opened, the air exchange should the attacking humidity loads ar e adjusted and the air will be sucked there, where the moisture sources are conc entrated.€Recently, in larger installations for the supply of entire buildings u sing supply air and ground heat exchanger. You can in the spring / summer lead t o a microbial problem when the walls of the heat exchanger high relative humidit y or even condensation occurs. The apartment users by their behavior to help ens ure that mold found in the apartment no favorable conditions for growth: Proper ventilation and heating, the moisture can be limited in the building. It is impo rtant that the humidity caused by the activities in space (moisture output of ma n, showers, cooking, washing etc.), is discharged by regularly airing out. 15 TIPS FOR PROPER AIR To reduce the humidity in the room should preferably be short periods of airing several times a day (5-10 minutes at wide open window): a) bath in the bathroom should be removed after the shower the water from walls and floor. After the sho wer you should open the windows in the bathroom (if any) may occur far. In the w indowless bathroom, make sure that the built-in shaft ventilation is working pro

perly. It is recommended the installation of a - possibly via controlled humidit y sensors - mechanical ventilation hood. Wet towels and walls in the bathroom can, despite short-term airing - contain much water, towels to dry, therefore th e best on the radiator, leaving the window open as long as the towels to feel so mewhat dry (the heater in the bathroom is not there in the winter off be that th e drying of the towels accelerated considerably, as a few minutes are then often ). b) cooking in the kitchen can be removed by a fume hood with the exhaust air outlet into the open a lot of moisture from the room. Such a deduction is also u seful from the point of exhaustion of cooking fumes and - when cooking with gas - from combustion gases. Hoods with fan control are not to reduce the humidity i n the kitchen suitable. c no or little) less heated rooms heated rooms (eg bedro oms) should not be heated by hot air from other rooms (the evening). In the cold er area it may cause to walls or windows to condensation. When should use of the - some heated - bedrooms with good ventilation in the morning after rising for the removal of moisture (each sleeping emits water vapor) are provided. In rooms that are not used for some time and heated, should be aired before increasing a gain in use. d) absence because of the absence of the ability of the residents o f an apartment window will not open several times a day, at least, the internal doors are kept open so that could possibly spread remaining moisture from bathro om and kitchen evenly over all the rooms. 16 The ability to remove moisture from the area by air depends on the fact that air can absorb depends on the temperature different amounts of water vapor. Warm ai r contains the same relative humidity much more water than cold air. Cold air co ntains little water in winter, even if its relative humidity is high. Cold outsi de air that enters the air in the interior, absorbs moisture when heated, which is paid back with the heated air to the outside. In very cold outdoor air in the interior can - be achieved even in rainy weather by air dehydration. The colder the air, the more water it can absorb the heat. Therefore, in the winter air wi th cold outside air to remove more moisture from one area than in summer. In a t hree-person households are by the water vapor of the people (30 to 100 g / h per person) per day by showering, washing, drying clothes, cooking as well as plant s, aquariums and other moisture sources about 6-14 kg of water released. To pay 10 kg of water indoors, have about 3,000 kg of air to be moved. This means that the air contents of the interior is about 7 times a day must be exchanged for tr ansporting the unwanted moisture. In comparison, closed windows and doors you ha ve ventilation rates between 0.2 - 2 per hour (depending on window type and buil ding situation), with wide open windows increase the air exchange rate of the 10 -20 per hour. The lower the insulation of exterior walls, or made more errors co nstruction in building construction were (are heated, for example in the form of thermal bridges) and the more exterior walls by circulating room air (for examp le, behind cabinets or behind wall coverings), the lower in winter the surface t emperature of the exterior walls.€Thus the relative humidity increases according to the inner wall surface and the risk of condensation. Important: At exterior walls should be, especially in "cold" walls, no furniture , pictures, or heavy curtains made directly to the wall or hung out. As a guidel ine, a minimum distance of 10 cm apply. In the basement wall to the room temperature side in the summer is often low. Ho wever, since the absolute humidity of outside air in summer is often high, it wo uld frequent air with outside air to "dry" is wrong, because more and more moist ure will be entered into the room and condenses on the cold walls. The air shoul d then be laid in the early morning hours. 17 In cellars, which serve only as storage and not intended for the longer stay of persons, mold is taken partly into account. Remedy would only be possible throug h better insulation, by heating or by drying the air. Basement where mold growth

is to be prevented, but should not directly connect to other buildings have, su ch as staircases, wells, unsealed openings in the basement. ABOUT THIS BROCHURE This brochure has been prepared on the basis of established by the Indoor Air Hy giene Commission of the Federal Environment Agency publication: "Guidelines for the prevention, investigation, assessment and remediation of mold growth in indo or" ("mold Guide") The publication is on the Internet (www.umweltbundesamt.de ) or available in printed form from the Federal Environmental Agency, central answ ering service to obtain (limited edition). Publisher: Federal Environment Section II 1.3, II 1.4 interior Hygiene Departmen t, Microbiology PO Box 33 00 22 14191 Berlin FAX: (030) 8903-2912 www.umweltbund esamt.de © 2004 Umweltbundesamt