Mold Sickness and Mycotoxins

We hear from various people regarding mold treatments; and for the most part, the processes are successful.  The use of ozone prior to the remediation is a good idea because dead mold will not react by pushing out spores when disturbed.  It makes good sense to treat a molded area with ozone before, during, and after the actual work is done.  

Mold remediation services will often seal off the area and run negative air and air scrubbers to minimize the anticipated mold spore problem.  It seems appropriate to use ozone to minimize mold spore pollution before, at times during the remediation (when people are absent), and after the mold removal is finished.

Not only will ozone kill mold, it will damage mold spores so they may not reproduce.  But, there is another important reason to use ozone.  That reason is mycotoxins.  

HEPA filters and negative air will not remove mycotoxins because they are so small.  Mycotoxins are ultra-fine particles that are very hard to remove from a building.  So, most companies are satisfied to remediate the damaged areas, clean up the area, and filter the are for mold spores.  The pre- and post-testing is almost always to measure the mold spore levels.

NIH reports:  "Although there are not many reports on the use of ozone against filamentous fungi or their mycotoxins, promising results have been reported. With a short half-time, at neutral pH and ambient temperature, ozone is able to inactivate microorganisms and decompose their toxic metabolites, leaving no traces of ozone in the treated commodity."

Though debated by various sources, ozone is an effective tool to treat and kill mold, delativate mold spores, and neutralize mycotoxins.  These treatment should be done in conjunction with a full mold remediation of any molded or mold-damaged areas.  There should be no shortcuts when dealing with mold.  Though some mold is not as hazardous as others, until the type of mold is known; the area must be considered a kind of biohazaard area.

As NIH and other professionals report, ozone will kill the mold and it will deactive mycotoxins.  This does not reduce or eliminate the need to filter the air with HEPA air scrubbers and to clean everywhere possible.  Do not forget the air duct system during the process.

Because mycotoxoins are ultra-fine, it is possible that the final cleanup needs secondary cleaning for weeks after the remediation is done.  Mycotoxins can be found in soft materials, clothing, and even the biofilm that coats all surfaces.  Routinely treating the area with ozone after the remediation is done is important for anyone with more sensitive conditions.  Not everyone is as affected by mycotoxins as others, so the measure is evaluated by the health of the weakest immune system.

Mold sickness is hard to evaluate.  Testing can be provided by an IAQ SpecialistNAQI