Mold remediation is the technique of identifying the location and also the extent of mold hazard in a building as well as cleaning it up from the environment. The aim of the clean-up process is to eliminate fungal growth and also to remove any contaminated materials in the area. During the process, protection of the workers is usually observed. This protection is in different levels and the level of contamination determines the level of protection. There are four levels with each having specific worker safety requirements:
This type of remediation is done in small isolated areas. In this level, regular building staff can conduct remediation provided that they have been trained on potential hazards, personal protection and clean-up methods. The training program must be done to comply with the legal requirements.
• The workers should have respiratory protection. This ensures that they are not exposed to mold which is linked to respiratory problems. In addition to this, they should have protective equipment such as gloves.
• All the people should be removed from the working area and ensure that the place is unoccupied. It might not be necessary to remove all people from places adjacent to the work place but it is recommended that people who are suffering from respiratory diseases or recovering from a recent surgery be removed.
• If there are contaminated materials which cannot be cleaned, they should be disposed off as waste in sealed paper bags. They should be done in areas away from the building.
• Workers should also ensure that all the areas are dry and they should be free from any contamination.
• Although containment of the place that is been clean is not necessary, dust suppression and misting is highly recommended.
• Work areas used by workers doing the contamination have to be cleaned with a damp cloth and a detergent.
This is done in mid-sized isolated areas and as in Level I regular staff that has been trained on clean-up methods, potential hazards and personal protection can conduct remediation. Respiratory protection is similar to that in Level I.
• Prior to the remediation process, surfaces in the place that is to be cleaned should be covered with plastic sheets. This is important as it prevents further contamination.
• It is recommended that dust suppression methods such misting be used and this should be done prior to the remediation process.
• In this level, the place that workers use for access must be HEPA vacuumed and also cleaned with detergent and a damp cloth.
• As in the first level, areas should be left dry and free from any contamination.
This is done in large isolated areas and environmental health professionals who are highly experienced should be contracted to offer an oversight role to the process of mold remediation. This process should also be undertaken by trained personnel in hazardous materials and they should have respiratory protection.
• Prior to the remediation process, contaminated surfaces and adjacent areas that are suspected to be contaminated must be covered with security sheets. This prevents further contamination.
• All people should be removed from the work area and if necessary remove people from the adjacent areas. The recommended people who should be removed from the adjacent areas are people with respiratory problems, those recovering from a recent injury or immune-suppressed.
• It is advisable to remove any contaminated material from the building. Ensure that the material is put in impermeable sealed plastic bags before disposing it as ordinary waste.
• As in first and second levels, the work areas should be left dry and free from any contamination.
This is carried in areas which have been extensively contaminated.
It is carried out by personnel who have received training in hazardous materials and they should have fully face respirators which have HEPA cartridges. They should also cover their entire body with disposable protective clothing.
• There should be a complete isolation of the affected area and this should be done using plastic sheets which are sealed with duct tape.
• The decontamination room must be clean by a damp cloth with detergent and must also be HEPA vacuumed. You should also ensure that the contained is clean before the removal of isolation barrier.
• Any contaminated materials which cannot be cleaned must be removed from the building and disposed off in impermeable sealed plastic bags and in the other levels.
• An exhaust fan should be used with a HEPA filter to generate a decontamination room, air locks and negative pressurization.
Safety of workers involved in mold remediation is very important. With these levels, you can be able to know what is required of you if you are going to do a clean-up. If you are hiring someone to do a clean-up for you, ensure that this is followed so that everyone will be protected from the harmful effects of mold.