Presentation on theme: "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mold Remediation Methods Post-Superstorm Sandy Bill Sothern, MS, CIH Jack Caravanos, DrPH, CIH Frank Mirer, PhD, CIH Fungal."— Presentation transcript:
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mold Remediation Methods Post-Superstorm Sandy Bill Sothern, MS, CIH Jack Caravanos, DrPH, CIH Frank Mirer, PhD, CIH Fungal Research Group, Inc. Safe and Effective Flood and Mold Remediation – After the Super Storm Sandy and other Natural Disasters - An International Conference Meeting and Training Work-shop Galloway, NJ March 15, 2013
The Problem Storm surge flooded over 100,000 NYC residences and an estimated 350,000 along NY/NJ coast lines on October 30, 2012. By December, volunteers and residents had removed wet sheetrock from most of these homes. Mold growth on sheetrock was slow to develop, probably because of low temperatures. Salinity? However, severe levels of mold growth on structural wood components prevalent in wall and ceiling cavities – nearly 100%.
Government Funded Mold Assessment and Mold Remediation To date, none of the $60+ billion of Federal relief aid designated for mold assessment and remediation. Federal money must be channeled through state and local governments who have not requested money for mold work. One unique program funded by the Mayor’s Fund, Red Cross, and Robin Hood provided $15.6 million for mold assessment and remediation in 2000 NYC homes in flooded areas. Muck-out and gutting work being performed by volunteer groups and “mold treatment” work by approved contactors. LISC/NRNYC Program may provide template for future.
Airborne Mold Levels in Homes During Remediation of Structural Wood
Mold Growth Conditions and Air Sampling Results During Remediation Newport Ave, Rockaway Basement, ceiling, structural wood 340,000 structures/m 3 Penicillium/Aspergillus
Structural Wood Mold Remediation Methods Options Removal – Most effective option, but impractical in winter, and expensive. Is it necessary? HEPA vacuum, brush with fungicidal/fungistatic cleaner. HEPA vacuum, brush with dishwashing detergent – add Borax? HEPA vacuum, brush with cleaning solution, dry and encapsulate. HEPA vacuum and dry-ice blast HEPA vacuum and baking soda blast Regardless of method, wood must be left dry. Is there a best practice???
Fungicidal /Fungistatic Cleaners vs. Dishwashing Detergent This photo was taken on December 5, 2012 in the east section of the basement to be remediated by HEPA vacuuming and brushing with a detergent/Borax solution. This photo was taken on December 5, 2012 in the west section of the basement to be remediated by HEPA vacuuming and brushing with Foster 40-80.
Products Used Household product Dishwashing detergent/20-Mule Borax solution - 1/3 cup dishwashing detergent + 3 cups Borax : 3 gallons water Commercial fungicide Foster 40-80 -Quaternary ammonium chloride -Surfactant/Disinfectant Apply using nylon brushes and pump sprayers
Mold Remediation Procedure 1.Equip workers with Tyvek coveralls, goggles, gloves and half-face respirators 2.Remove and dispose all sheetrock tailings and nails 3.Remove and dispose all non-structural wood components 4.HEPA vacuum all affected areas 5.Brush with cleaning solution a) Foster 40-80 or other commercial disinfectant; or b) Dishwashing detergent/Borax solution 6.Apply residual coat of cleaning solution using pump sprayer 7.Perform all work under negative air pressure 8.Operate dehumidifiers until wood ≤17% moisture content
Product Comparison Procedure To compare the effectiveness of household cleaning products vs. commercial fungicides, the following comparative analysis was performed: Basement divided into west and east halves. On the west half, Foster 40-80 used in step 5 and 6 in mold remediation procedure. On the east half, Dish washing detergent and 20 mule team borax used in steps 5 and 6 in mold remediation procedure. Four weeks after mold remediation, re-growth conditions were evaluated on each half to compare the efficacy of each product.
Mold Growth Conditions and Sampling Results* Post-Remediation This photo was taken on January 9, 2013 in the east section of the basement that had been remediated by HEPA vacuuming and brushing with a detergent/Borax solution. This photo was taken on January 9, 2013 in the west section of the basement that had been remediated by HEPA vacuuming and brushing with Foster 40-80. Basement, ceiling, structural wood & sub-flooring 750 structures/m 3 Penicillium/Aspergillus * Air sampling conducted under quiescent conditions
Conclusion The post-remediation visible inspection indicated that the dishwashing detergent/20-Mule Team Borax solution and the commercial disinfectant were equally effective in removing the visible mold and preventing mold regrowth (at 4 & 8 weeks post-remediation). Results suggest that commonly used commercial biocides (Foster 40-80, Shockwave, Sporicidin, etc.) are no more effective than dishwashing detergent.
Airborne Mold Levels in Superstorm Sandy Flooded Homes Remediated by HEPA Vacuuming and Brushing with Dishwashing Detergent (Quiescent Conditions – Windows Closed)
What About Encapsulation? Test results suggest that encapsulation is unnecessary. Contains chemicals (eg, barium compounds) that may be hazardous. Impedes drying, increasing risk of growth of decay fungi in the event of future flooding.
Other Mold Remediation Methods Dry ice blasting Baking soda blasting Limited evidence suggests blasting methods are effective, cost –efficient and non-hazardous when used by properly trained contractors following recommended work practices, containment and clean-up practices.
What is the association between living and/or working in a flood- damaged home and occupant/worker respiratory health symptoms – have occupant/worker symptoms worsened since Superstorm Sandy? What is the association between living in an improperly remediated home and occupant respiratory health symptoms? What are the levels of airborne mold in homes that were adequately remediated vs. homes that were inadequately remediated, and is this dichotomous independent variable associated with occupant respiratory health symptoms? Could the answer to this question inform criteria for acceptable post-remediation airborne mold levels – clearance levels? Questions That Need Answers
We Have Some Answers from Post-Katrina Studies Cummings, Cox-Ganxer, et al. Health effects of Exposure to Water-Damaged New Orleans Homes Six Months After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita American Journal of Public Health, May 2008 Conclusions: Respiratory symptoms were positively associated with exposure to water-damaged homes, including exposure without participating in clean-up. Respirator use had a protective effect regardless of activities undertaken. Rando, Lefant, et al. Respiratory Health Effects Associated with Restoration Work in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012 Conclusions: Post-Katrina restoration work is associated with moderate adverse effects on respiratory health, including sinusitis and toxic pneumonitis.
Based on the findings of the Cummings, Cox-Ganser and Rando studies, we have designed the Respiratory Health Effects and Exposure to Mold NYC Residences Affected by Superstorm Sandy (RHEEM) Study to quantify the risk of both upper and lower respiratory ailments as a function of mold measurements, including visual observations, air sampling and moisture testing, and status/evaluation of mold remediation work. RHEEM Study