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Subject: Mold


From: Lori Arnold <larnold>
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 1999
Regarding the question of mold and its control: I am not surprised
that your colleague has had another outbreak of mold since she
moved.  The spores from the old location were probably covering
everything, just waiting for a new environment in which to erupt.
Although her possessions have never been wet, the presence of any
kind of mold indicates a significant presence of moisture. The fact
that she is beginning to show signs of health problems indicates a
high level of moisture as well.

The only effective means of controlling this problem is to lower the
relative humidity level within her living environment.  Central air
kept at a maximum temperature of 65 degrees F is a must.  I would
also recommend the purchase of a de-humidifier to pull the moisture
out of the air.  An extreme measure (often used in architectural
conservation treatments) is to place open containers of Drierite (or
any other type of desiccant) in protected, out-of-the-way locations.
(Once the Drierite turns pink, it should be changed.)  This combined
with central air and de-humidification will kill large numbers of
germinating spore bodies.

When cold weather arrives, special care should be taken that
humidity levels are kept constantly low.  Warm air from heating,
combined with a relative humidity of 20% or above will cause  spores
to germinate again. Once the mold outbreak is under control, your
colleague can try vacuuming to pick up some of the spores, but
because of their numbers (millions and millions) removing all the
spores is impossible. If the outbreak is that severe, the spores are
in her furniture, bed, books--everywhere. I recommend throwing away
items that are severely molding.  These may be some of the locations
of fruiting spore bodies.

Lori Arnold
Architectural Conservator
John Milner Associates
Philadelphia, PA

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:20
               Distributed: Thursday, September 16, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-20-009
Received on Tuesday, 7 September, 1999

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