25.05.2004

Mould in the Workplace - a Basic Guide

There is no escaping mould. It is a natural part of our environment, and grows
practically everywhere people live and work. And like everything else in our
natural environment, mould can impact our health.

Mould is mostly harmless to human health when it is breaking down fallen trees
and other organic material in the outdoors. But for some people, the inhalation
of the mould, fragments of the moulds, or spores can lead to health problems or
make certain health conditions worse.

Mould can appear on walls, floor coverings, windows, ventilation systems, and
support beams that are likely to be moist or water damaged. It grows in warm
and wet areas such as bathroom tubs, between tiles and window frames. The
growth of any visible mould inside, on interior surfaces spells a risk factor
for health problems and is unacceptable.

In some office buildings contaminated with mould, tenants reported symptoms
such as fatigue, respiratory ailments and eye irritation. The health effects
are often short-term, allergy-type symptoms (such as runny nose or cough). Some
workers, however, have reported long-term effects, or even contracted lung
disease or other life-threatening conditions that may be attributed to mould.


To help provide a clearer understanding of mould and when it might be
hazardous, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has
published Mould in the Workplace - a Basic Guide. This latest title in a series
of practical, safety "pocket guides" describes the different types of moulds
and their possible health effects. It gives clear advice on what to do when
mould is found, how to clean it up, and how to prevent its growth in the first
place.

Besides explaining the basics of mould, the Guide will help the reader
understand how air sampling works, and how to interpret the mould measurement
data. In addition, it illustrates how to conduct an employee health survey in a
workplace that may be contaminated with mould, and references all relevant
health and safety standards and legislation.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety