BLEACH: The Mold Cleaner MYTH
Chlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite 6%) does not kill mold.
Bleach does not kill mold.
Mold hyphae (root structures) actually grow into wood and drywall like roots. Bleach does not kill mold hyphae because bleach’s ion structure prevents chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as dry wall and wood. It stays on the outside surface, whereas mold has protected enzyme roots growing inside the porous construction materials.
When you spray porous surface mold using bleach as a mold cleaner, the water part of the solution soaks into the wood while the bleach chemical sits atop the surface, gasses off, and thus only will only partially kill some surface mold (all molds are not toxic) while the water penetration into the building materials furthers mold growth.
How much do you know about mold?
Molds are microscopic fungi that need plant and animal matter in order to grow. It is estimated that there are greater than 100,000 different species of fungi that exist across the world. The purpose of fungi is to break down organic material and recycle them for future use by plants and animals. Because molds grow by digesting the organic material, they gradually destroy whatever they grow on. Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen in the form of discoloration, frequently green, gray, brown or black, but also white and other colors. The family of fungi includes mildews, yeasts, fungus, large mushrooms and mold. These thinly spun, threaded organisms produce spores that then allow them to spread themselves to different locations. Molds typically reproduce through their spores that are released into the air and land on moist, organic materials. The spores then germinate and begin expanding out in elaborate networks.
What is toxic mold?
If the mold spores are ‘toxic’ they can adversely affect peoples’ health. The effect on people will depend on the type of mold involved, the metabolic byproduct of the mould, as well as how much contact there is and the length of exposure, as well as the susceptibility of the person exposed. This last factor is important for children who can be affected more easily than adults. There are no definitive studies proving that ‘toxic mold’ makes people sick, nor is there a way to measure one’s exposure to mold. A growing number of medical experts and lawyers now believe that exposure to one type of mold in particular; stachybotrys chartarum can result in more serious health symptoms such as pulmonary bleeding, memory loss and even brain damage. Other symptoms may include headaches, fatigue and allergies.
Where are molds found?
Molds are found in virtually every ecological niche and are found outside in nature and in homes and buildings. They are most prevalent in areas that have moist or wet climates. Molds are simple organisms that thrive in warm, damp, dark, poorly ventilated environments. In a home these areas could be shower areas, closets, behind refrigerators and even inside wall cavities. Such conditions can be caused by un-repaired roof leaks, sprinkler spray hitting the house, plumbing leaks, overflow from sinks or sewers, a damp basement or crawl space. When damp conditions are present, mold is able to grow on such diverse materials as wood, carpet, insulation, cloth and all types of food. The spores of S. chartarum are in the soil and are introduced along with floodwaters or the dust and dirt entering with the water incursion. The fungus is most commonly found in homes or buildings which have sustained flooding or water damage from broken pipes, roof, wall, or floor leaks, condensation etc. Wet conditions are required to initiate and maintain growth. It is most common on the paper covering of gypsum wall board, but can be found on wallpaper, cellulose based ceiling tiles, paper products, carpets with natural fibers, paper covering on insulated pipes, in insulation material, on wood and wood paneling and on general organic debris. The paper covering of fiberglass insulation is another area for growth. The fungus can be hidden in the ceiling, walls or floors with no or little visible evidence within the interior of the room. The spores, however, can contaminate the interior of the room through holes and cracks in the building materials (aided by negative pressure) or be transported via the air handling system. Condensation due to poor design or faulty heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can promote growth of the fungus. The fungus will usually produce large amounts of conidiophores and conidia giving the substrate a black appearance that can be slightly shiny when fresh and powdery when dry.
What about exposure to mold?
Everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. It is common to find mold spores in the air inside homes; most of the airborne spores found indoors come from outdoor sources. People often come into contact with molds in moist area in and around their homes or when mold spores become airborne. These spores can come into contact with people through the skin or when ingested. Mold spores can also be present from active mold growth within home, office or school where people live or work.
What problems can cause mold?
Nearly all mycologists, or fungi experts, agree that indoor mold exposure, if extensive, can cause those exposed to the spores to become sensitized, resulting in the development of allergies. Symptoms usually include wheezing, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, eye irritation, a dry cough and skin rashes. The elderly, asthmatic, infants and young children and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk to reacting negatively to molds. The ill effects of molds generally break down into four categories that include allergies, infections, irritations and toxicities. Allergies are the most common reaction to contact with molds and these can run the spectrum from very mild and temporary reactions to acute, chronic illness.
Institute of medicine?
1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis (nerves), the most common chronic disease in people; 1 in 9 Americans suffer from allergy-related sinusitis (nasal) · 1 in 10 Americans have allergy-related asthma (lung) · 1 in 11 Americans experience allergic dermatitis (skin) · Less than 1 in 100 Americans suffer from serious chronic allergic diseases. These statistics indicate that allergic reactions are extremely common in people. Often the specific cause is not known and in question. Recently, the existence of mold in homes, offices and schools has emerged as a real possibility as the cause of these allergic reactions. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as S. chartarum) is a fungus that has become notorious as a mycotoxin producer that can cause animal and human mycotoxicosis. Over the past 15 years in North America, evidence has accumulated implicating this fungus as a serious problem in homes and buildings and one of the causes of the ‘sick building syndrome’. In 1993-1994 there was an unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants in Cleveland, Ohio where researchers found S. chartarum growing in the homes of the sick infants. This incident increased the awareness of home/building molds and brought this fungus to the immediate attention of the medical community. Although there are many unanswered questions about the effects of S. chartarum on human health, the accumulation of data (from observations and research) over the past 65 years tells us that one should not handle materials contaminated with S. chartarum (without proper safety procedures) and strongly indicates that indoor environments contaminated with S. chartarum are not healthy, especially for children and may result in serious illness.
How can I tell if molds are present?
Mold is mostly white or black in color. You may suspect there is mold in the air if you see patches of cottony or speckled growth on walls and furniture. You may smell an earthy or musty odor. One may suspect mold contamination if individuals experience some of the symptoms described above when in the structure. Evidence of past or ongoing water damage should also trigger more thorough inspection. Mold growth may be found underneath water-damaged surfaces or behind walls, floors and ceilings.
How do we test for mold?
Testing is not recommended as a first step to determine if there is a mold problem. Reliable air sampling for mold can be expensive and requires expertise and equipment that is not widely available to the general public and there are few available standards for judging what is an acceptable quantity of mold. The simplest way to deal with a suspicion of mold contamination is, if one can see or smell mold, you are likely to have a problem. Mold growth is likely to recur unless the source of moisture that is allowing the mold to grow is removed and the contaminated area is cleaned.
What can Flo-X do to kill mold?
Flo-X® reduces the population of Aspergillus niger and Stachybotrys Chartarum by 100% in less then 5 minutes and prevents regrowth.