Molds are fungi that are found everywhere – both indoors and outdoors all year round. The terms fungi and mold are often used interchangeably, but mold is actually a type of fungi. Concern about indoor exposure to mold has increased along with public awareness that exposure to mold can cause a variety of adverse health effects. There are many thousands of species of mold and most if not all of the mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. It seems likely to grow and become a problem only when there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness.
Molds produce and release millions of spores small enough to be air-, water-, or insect-borne. They can also produce toxic agents known as mycotoxins. Spores and mycotoxins can have negative effects on human health. For those people who are affected by mold exposures there can be a wide variation in how they react. People at greatest risk of health effects are individuals with allergies, asthma, sinusitis, or other respiratory conditions, as well as infants and children, elderly people, and pregnant women. In addition, individuals with a weakened immune system are at risk.
Mold is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, and the construction industry.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers’ rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury).
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small businesses may contact OSHA’s free On-Site Consultation services funded by OSHA to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites. To contact free consultation services, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Please contact Aspen Environmental Services for mold testing and removal at (978) 681-5023. Or email [email protected]