Mold in the Workplace

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Concerns about exposure to mold in the workplace has been increasing as the public in New York becomes more aware that mold in the workplace can cause a variety of harmful health conditions. For instance, Stachybotrys mold is being identified with the same caution, response and liability concerns as those attributed to lead-based paint poisoning and asbestos.

Workplace mold in New York can exist due to plumbing failures, humidity problems, wet and damp basements, conductive condensation, roofing leaks and landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building. Exposure to mold can also be a problem when a fire occurred at a commercial property. The Center for Disease Control lists the following mold and health risks associated with exposure to mold in the workplace.

  • Respiratory problems, such as wheezing, and difficulty in breathing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eyes-burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Skin irritation
  • Central nervous system problems (constant headaches, memory problems, and mood changes)
  • Aches and pains
  • Possible fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Possible hemosiderosis
  • Immune suppression

Controlling Indoor Moisture Levels

Workplace molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There is mold in the workplace that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, exposure to mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.

Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Workplace mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. This is whenmold in the workplace becomes a toxic problem for workers and occupants of the building.

How to Prevent Workplace Mold Health Problems

Since mold in the workplace requires water to grow, it is important for New York employers and building owners to prevent moisture problems in their buildings. Some workplace mold problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to workplace mold buildup.

Don’t let your health suffer. Learn more about what action you can take.