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Subject: Mold health hazards

Mold health hazards

From: Erich Kesse <erikess>
Date: Friday, September 23, 1994
I'd like to posit the argument that sensitivity to mold spores is a red
herring, akin to postulating that of two folks drinking Nippon SunRises
(Tequila & Saki in Beer), the one with the lower tolerance to vile
mixtures of alcohol has to be protected when in fact both have consumed
the devil's brew. ...Or, if the argument requires more color, that we
should protect canaries in coal mines but not necessarily the miners
when both breathe the same air, if not share the same breath. Sensitive
people, like the remaining population, breath in mold spores.

What is sensitivity anyway?  Certainly it has something to do with
factors of exposure like duration and concentration or species of spore.
And, it must have something to do with allergic and other bodily
reactions to the breathed in spore(s).

One of the possible reactions is a relatively minor but very annoying
condition which my physician refers to colloquially as "pearl formation
in the lungs"; after introduction of the spore, it is apparently
enveloped by tissue (of some sort) much as a grain of sand is encased in
an oyster's shell and for apparently similar reasons. Apparently,
"established pearls" can be detected by x-ray.  For this reason and fear
of more harmful effects, I believe that non-toxic particle mask should
be required protection when responding to mold infections in library
stacks where the concentration of spores is likely to be high and
ventilation is likely to be poor as indicated by bloom.

Erich J. Kesse
Preservation Office
University of Florida Libraries
Fax: 904-392-7251

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:22
               Distributed: Wednesday, September 28, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-22-002
Received on Friday, 23 September, 1994

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