IAQ Tribal Partners Program
Learn About IAQ
Molds are any of a number of microscopic fungi that live and grow on organic (carbon-containing) material. They reproduce by releasing tiny spores that float through the air, invisible to the naked eye. Molds are everywhere in nature, and are able to grow anywhere a food source, oxygen and moisture are present. Thus, mold may begin growing indoors if mold spores come into contact with a moist surface, such as on drywall that has been exposed to a plumbing leak or around windows where moisture condenses.
All molds have the potential to affect health. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause serious health problems in humans. The types and severity of symptoms depend, in part, on the types of mold present, the extent of an individual's exposure, the age of the individual, and his/her existing sensitivities or allergies.
Moisture control is the key to mold control. Molds need both food and water to survive; since molds can digest most things, water is the factor that limits mold growth. For basic information about mold growth in homes and its potential health effects, visit EPA’s Mold Website.
During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood. To find out how to clean up your home after a flood, visit EPA’s Flood Cleanup Website.
- EPA Publications on Mold
- A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home - This guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.
- Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings - This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings (which also applies to residences)
- Mold in Schools Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provides an organized summary of information related to facts of mold growth in school buildings and portable classrooms.
- Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home (PDF) (15 pp., 1 MB, about PDF) - This booklet offers basic information on how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems in your home.
You can order EPA publications free of charge from EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), visit their Website at www.epa.gov/nscep, or call 1-800-490-9198.
Learn About IAQ
- IAQ in Tribal Communities
- Asthma Triggers
- Secondhand Smoke
- Wood Smoke
- Carbon Monoxide
- Other Pollutants
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Do you know of a successful community program? If so, we would like to know. Please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org describing the program and that program could be highlighted on this Web page. We will follow up with the program directly to gather more information and permission to use their story.
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