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IAQ Tribal Partners Program

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Moisture/Mold

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.

Flood Cleanup

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 Materials

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.

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We want your input

Do you know of a successful community program? If so, we would like to know. Please send us an e-mail at iaqtribal@epa.gov 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.

Asthma Triggers Carbon Monoxide Community Programs Directory of Tribal Champions Innovative Tribal Programs Learn about IAQ Working with the Media Moisture/Mold Other Pollutants Radon Programs in Schools Secondhand Smoke Wood Smoke Indoor Air Quality

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